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Mother says body cameras for LEOs a good investment

By Erin Smith

MarionMcgovern1For one mother, the loss of her son has lead her to lobby for body cameras for county law enforcement officers.

Marion McGovern said, “I went to a meeting of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners to talk about body cameras for law enforcement after the shooting death of my son by law enforcement.”

St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday, March 17) marked the one year anniversary of the death of McGovern’s son Declan Owen in an officer involved shooting.

“Two weeks prior to that, I came across some information which contradicts the information I was given in a meeting with District Attorney Jon David, ….. SBI Officer Jacob who was investigating and his supervisor,” said McGovern.

She continued, “Obviously this concerned me.”

McGovern said that because of the situation she finds herself in now, she feels it is imperative for law enforcement to wear body cameras.

“Had the law enforcement officers that night been wearing them, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. Obviously, law enforcement officers will benefit from this as well. It saves money when you’ve got it on video. It is easier to conclude the case,” said McGovern.

She added that it will benefit both the public as well as law enforcement.

“When you are dealing with grief, you need to know the truth and the while truth whether it is good or bad. If you find out you haven’t been told the truth, it re-opens the wound,” said McGovern.

She continued, “Knowing my son didn’t die instantly as I was told, has been hard to come to terms with.”

McGovern said that she has noticed that the divide between the public and law enforcement seems to grow larger all the time.

“It is important that law enforcement can prove they did the right thing as it is for them to be accountable for their actions when something goes wrong,” said McGovern.

She added that she has spoke to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker regarding her concerns about the situation.

“I believe our local sheriff is someone that can be trusted to get to the truth and to help me with my concerns about the situation,” said McGovern.

She said that the biggest cost for body cameras is in the software to operate them and the ongoing upkeep such as software updates and training for the officers.

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