Letter: South Shore police force should use body cameras
Incredibly our local police department has yet to consider implementing the use of body cameras. In cities like Rialto and elsewhere in California, it’s been shown that complaints against police decline after implementation, since quick exoneration of officers usually results. Police forces across our country are turning to camera systems in an effort to regain the trust of the people. Expense is no longer a viable excuse as grants and guidance are now available. And, the cost of a camera system remains low compared to the potential cost of litigation and settlements.
So what’s out there? Microsoft Cloud, for example has a system specifically for police, designed to upload the officer’s video while filming. Many citizens have a cell phone “app” called “Bambuser” that operates the same way. It allows them to upload their recording in progress. So, destruction of the device doesn’t destroy the video. Why should our police have anything less?
A police force that restricts or even refuses to release its information soon begins to assume the role of a secret police. A police state, empowered by a secret police, operates by supervising the citizens’ activities, with no transparency, accountability or oversight. Information control is the heart of their power. Rather that protecting their constituency, they strive to enforce and enhance their personal authority. Freedom of information is their enemy.
In today’s society cameras record our actions dozens of times a day. If your bank deposit or Walmart purchase is important enough to record, then your interaction with police most certainly is. A camera system will protect our city’s finances, the citizens, and mostly our police officers. Our officers, proud of their daily interaction with the public, have nothing to hide and should welcome this inevitable change.
The technology is here and we can’t hide from it.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.