Photos by William Allison

It’s two o’clock in the morning and you’re on your way home from a finals study session at a friend’s house. As soon as you turn onto your dimly-lit street, your mirrors are flooded with strobing red and blue lights. You have a headlight out that you’ve been meaning to fix. When the officer approaches your car, he greets you by saying, “Hi there, just to let you know, I’m audio and video recording.” He then motions toward a box the size of a deck of cards on his chest – a body camera.

Photos by William Allison

It was a another rainy day in Oregon when I approached the Corvallis Police Department on NW 5th Street. Because of this not-so-unusual weather, foot traffic was sparse around the law enforcement center, despite being in the middle of the afternoon. Inside the building, I found it was just as quiet, only hearing occasional ringing of a phone, traffic passing outside, and the distant sound of a train horn.

“I see you were able to get in touch with Lieutenant Wood,” the dispatcher said with a welcoming smile. I nodded in agreement. “One moment, I’ll call him.”

A few moments later, Lieutenant Cord Wood, Public Information Officer for the Corvallis Police Department, exited from a side door. He guided me back toward an interview room, a room that seemed to frequently be used for drilling the truth out of suspected criminals. With a gun locker outside the door, a two-way glass window on one wall, and a very stale odor, it’s apparent that this room was no lounge, nor did it look like they do in the movies. He motioned for me to have a seat in one of several hard metal chairs. I complied.

As our interview started, I learned that Wood, a nearly 18 year veteran of CPD, has been a law enforcement officer in three different communities. As the Public Information Officer, his role is dealing with the press, answering public inquiries, compiling data, and more. However, PIO isn’t the only hat he wears at CPD. Although he didn’t elaborate too much, it’s very apparent that he’s a busy man. Despite being busy, he took time out of his day to sit down and talk with me about police body cameras, something he’s so familiar with, he had a presentation all ready to go.

Alex Weron. Photos by William Allison

Alex Weron has a pretty uplifting outlook on life. “You should do what makes you happy,” he says. “All we have are moments in life.”

And he lives true to those words. Weron is a senior at Oregon State University studying Digital Communication Arts, but just because he’s a Beaver now doesn’t mean he started in the Beaver State. Weron’s roots don’t spread too far, though; they are deep in the Pacific Northwest. He was born in Richland, Wash. and spent most of his childhood in Sandport, Idaho.

Not a day goes by without a headline popping up somewhere in the United States (or the rest of the world) about another case of police brutality. Whether it’s an officer Tasing someone, shooting an unarmed person, or using their baton a little too roughly, the daily news wouldn’t be complete without an accusation against the police. In many situations, that’s exactly what they are: accusations. However, without any solid evidence and only the statements of the parties involved, things get complicated – very complicated.