Video is clean­ing up law en­force­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion -

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.

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