Video is cleaning up law enforcement
There are many hardworking, dedicated professionals in law enforcement. For them, it is their mission to serve the community and their fellow citizens. These individuals work long hours for little pay and have to deal with all kinds of situations and people, many of whom are less than pleasant. Nevertheless, they do their jobs, even when they get little reward.
Then there are those known as the “bad apples.” These officers use their authority, badges and uniforms to not only harass and intimidate law-abiding citizens, but to play “big shot.” Most of the bad apples used to get away with their behavior because citizens were often afraid to speak out and file complaints. Also, these officers would get away with their conduct because of the “blue wall of silence,” which means that officers do not tell on other officers no matter how egregious an act. That has changed.
Now with new advances in visual technology such as camera phones and portable video recorders, as well as the advent of websites like Youtube, where video can be uploaded showing the conduct of officers, the behavior of the bad apples in action is there for all to see. More technological advancements will be forthcoming in the future and will be making headway into the marketplace.
Once citizens had to fear the actions of the bad apples, but that fear has been eliminated somewhat. It does not matter if these officers are in metropolitan areas like Newark, New York or Philadelphia, or in small towns — their conduct will be scrutinized and watched. Eyes are all around them now with an audience that expects and demands justice. ALEX PUGLIESE Kenilworth, N.J.