Ef­fec­tive tool Ring­ing the bell on crim­i­nals’ ‘pri­vacy’

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News -

Ev­ery­one wor­ries about crime, es­pe­cially th­ese days when just about any wack job can ob­tain mil­i­tary-grade firearms and go out and start shoot­ing in­no­cent peo­ple.

Thanks to tech­nol­ogy, law en­force­ment of­fi­cers have more tools for solv­ing and pre­vent­ing crime.

Un­for­tu­nately, ev­ery time some new tech­nol­ogy for catch­ing thieves and mur­der­ers comes along, it punches the but­tons of a weird co­terie of deep thinkers who ap­par­ently live locked away in im­pen­e­tra­ble fortresses out of the reach of the thugs who make life mis­er­able for the rest of us.

Their cur­rent tar­get is se­cu­rity cam­eras, which many of us em­ploy to pro­tect our fam­i­lies and prop­erty from crim­i­nals.

This gear in­cludes pro­grams such as Ring and its cam­era-equipped door­bells, which record im­ages of ev­ery­one who comes to your door. Ad­di­tional cam­eras can be added to cover other ar­eas of your prop­erty along with cam­eras from other man­u­fac­tur­ers, in­clud­ing Wyse.

We’ve had a Ring cam­era for sev­eral years and they are re­ally handy when you are at, say, Costco in Lan­caster and some­one comes to your front door in Mo­jave.

The cam­eras are equipped with in­ter­coms that al­low you to talk to the per­son, who has no idea if you are in your home or Tan­ganyika.

I have car­ried on con­ver­sa­tions with friends who stopped by the house when I was in an­other com­mu­nity, watched UPS de­liv­er­ing a pack­age, and ob­served some folks who had no busi­ness be­ing where they were on my prop­erty, a de­ci­sion I made from ob­serv­ing their ac­tions rather than their color.

Rings are re­ally handy when your door­bell buzzes at 0200 and some­one asks if Charles is home.

“Charles doesn’t live here and your pic­ture is on its way to the cops” is a good way to take care of that sit­u­a­tion.

It’s also handy to alert neigh­bors with cam­eras about folks wan­der­ing around our patch.

Ring-type cam­eras are no dif­fer­ent than Neigh­bor­hood Watch.

On steroids.

Law en­force­ment in­ter­est

I men­tion this be­cause of re­cent ar­ti­cles in na­tional news me­dia that ap­pear to have been writ­ten by peo­ple who have never come home to a bur­glar­ized house, are off on a toot about law en­force­ment agen­cies all over the na­tion that have been reach­ing out to the peo­ple they are hired to pro­tect to in­clude th­ese cam­eras as an­other tool against thieves and other scum.

Lo­cally, the Kern County Sher­iffs De­part­ment is ask­ing cam­era own­ers if they are in­ter­ested in reg­is­ter­ing their cam­eras and ad­dresses so deputies can check to see if some­one’s recorded footage could help solve a crime. That’s a great idea. The de­part­ment as­sures us that the pro­gram is en­tirely vol­un­tary with no obli­ga­tion.

An ex­am­ple of how this sys­tem could help is if your cam­era in­cludes the side of your neigh­bor’s house and it catches some­one walk­ing to­ward the neigh­bor’s back yard, some­thing I have ob­served and recorded.

Or records a ve­hi­cle driv­ing down the street that an of­fi­cer rec­og­nizes as some­one who de­nied be­ing in our neigh­bor­hood on a spe­cific date or time.

As folks in law en­force­ment know, cases are made with bits of in­for­ma­tion that can add-up and re­sult in a con­vic­tion, some­times years af­ter a crime is com­mit­ted.


A few years ago, ev­ery house on our street was bur­glar­ized within a month. Our house was bro­ken into and a few weeks later thieves got into our garage.

We had dropped our alarm ser­vice but promptly had it re­stored and added cam­eras. Now ev­ery­one on our side of the street has alarm ser­vice.

The stan­dard com­plaint against this kind of tech­nol­ogy, which in­cludes li­cense plate read­ers, de­vices that record and pin­point shots go­ing off, drones and other de­vices is that it is an “in­va­sion of pri­vacy.”

Of whom, thieves and crim­i­nals?

Are they say­ing that the pri­vacy of law-break­ers is more im­por­tant than that of crime vic­tims? What the hell kind of logic is that?

Con­tact https://www. kern­sh­er­iff. org/ Cam­er­a_Pro­gram to join the sher­iff ’s De­part­ments pro­gram.

By the way, when law en­force­ment be­gan us­ing DNA to solve crimes the same do-good­ers rose up in anger.

DNA ev­i­dence is now help­ing law en­force­ment solve hun­dreds of cold cases all over the na­tion, bring­ing clo­sure to the fam­i­lies of crime vic­tims and get­ting more crim­i­nals off our streets.

Speak­ing Span­ish

A re­cent let­ter in this pa­per com­plained about “peo­ple speak­ing Span­ish” in pub­lic.

The writer also com­plained that the staff of a bank they visit was “al­most all Span­ish.”


Fact: The two ma­jor­ity lan­guages in Cal­i­for­nia, run­ning neck and neck, are Span­ish and English.

Fact: Span­ish was the ma­jor­ity lan­guage in this state when the U.S. “stole” the Amer­i­can South­west, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia, from Mex­ico with the ques­tion­able Treaty of Guadalupe-Hi­dalgo in 1848.

Ques­tion: Should busi­nesses turn down half their cus­tomers?

I don’t un­der­stand peo­ple who think this way. What bloody dif­fer­ence is the way peo­ple speak?

Help­ful class

One of the most help­ful classes I ever took at An­te­lope Val­ley High in the early 1950s was the Span­ish class I and my fel­low stu­dent Bob Ul­rich (Guillermo and Roberto.) took from Miss Louise Eric­son. We still greet each other in Span­ish.

It’s also helped me in busi­ness, travel, and in my law en­force­ment em­ploy­ment.

My un­cle, the late Henry Clay­ton Mack, a Stan­ford and Har­vard-ed­u­cated at­tor­ney and U.S. Naval of­fi­cer dur­ing World War II, helped his three kids learn Span­ish when they were tak­ing it in high school by al­low­ing only Span­ish at the din­ner ta­ble.

That ex­pe­ri­ence helped them to be suc­cess­ful in their ca­reers.

By the way, that Span­ish class and the me­chan­i­cal draw­ing class Bob and I took from Ernie Tosi were two of the most prac­ti­cal classes I ever took at A.V.

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