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Are Law Enforcement Cameras Useful To Society

Is being watched by law enforcements a good idea that society would support? This has been a big issue to civilians to know whether or not cameras should be installed around us. Even though they are thought to invade our privacy, law enforcement cameras are a helpful tool because they have been proven effective to reduce crimes and maintain protection for society. With this said cameras can be useful for many different things.

First of all, law enforcement cameras are thought to be an invasion of privacy not only because people are being filmed without their consent, but also worried to how much power is used to have them filmed, people don’t know what happens or what they do with those videos. Although this is true,In the article, “Surveillance Cameras and the Right to Privacy,” studies have shown that the cameras have helped reduce crimes by 38 percent throughout the United States.

Nick Berton, a Chicago paramedic assigned to the operation center states, “We are very strict on how we use the cameras. ” In other words, Beton asserts that they are careful on how they should use the cameras (Surveillance). Law enforcements know what they are doing and do it professionally. An addition to being filmed without civilians consent, we have the Fourth Amendment to the constitution of the United States to protect society.

It states that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. This means that the police are not allowed to just simply look around into your house or property unless they have some type of warranty.

There are laws that help protect society from some type of privacy, and if those are not enough, it is still possible to make some new ones. A problem that people seem to fear is police officers are going to depend on the cameras so much that they will stop doing their work. Erin Moriarty from the Operations Center of the Office of Emergency Communications in Chicago asked that same question to Chicago Police Commander John Lewin in the article “Surveillance Cameras and the Right to Privacy. Lewin stated, “No, As with any technology, none of these things are the magic bullet – pardon the pun. They are just going to be another tool in the toolbox to help officers do their jobs. ” In arguing this claim, Lewin argues that cameras are not capable to some of the work police officer can do. For instance, they can not physically capture the criminal like law enforcement would do (Surveillance) . In addition, civilians fear the cost of buying and installing the cameras because it would be them paying for it.

In the article “Rights group: Police use of body cameras raises privacy concerns”, the Justice Department states, “ It would allocate $20 million in grants for police departments to buy body cameras, and House Republicans this week proposed setting aside $15 million for the technology. ” In other words, the Justice Department asserts that the cost of buying the cameras would be twenty million and the installation cost is fifteen million (Rights). This is a lot of money and it would come from the individual’s pocket .

In spite of the cost, the cameras have great abilities because of the high technology. They have the ability to watch over 232 square miles, and zoom up to 32 times optically and 184 times digitally. Some can also listen or detect gunshots that alert police. In the article “Cameras on Every Corner: Protection or Invasion? ,” Chicago Police Commander Jonathan Lewin states , “We see a reduction in crime in the areas around the cameras,” and “The last three years are the first three-year period in over 40 years that we’ve had less than 500 homicides a year, and we think the cameras played a role in that.

In other words, Lewin asserts that the cameras can help reduce crimes and help police with their jobs (Horng). Therefor civilians would make a great investment in the law enforcement cameras. With this in mind, law enforcement cameras are a helpful tool for police to use. There are many different types of crimes that have been reduced. In the article “Surveillance Cameras and the Right to Privacy,” crimes like murder went down to 7. 2 percent, robbery by 8. 1 percent, motor vehicle theft by 17. 2 percent.

If law enforcement keeps putting more cameras in more locations, these percentages can increase (Surveillance). The police cannot be everywhere at the same time, but it will make it easier with the help of some high tech tools they can. One of the abilities law enforcement cameras can do is scan license plates from a car. Not all people agree that would be such a great thing, some feel a little more skeptical. Having the use of scanning license plates is a necessary thing to use. It can help around with finding a stolen car, missing people, and even catch fugitives on the run.

In the article, “A tool to Fight Crime or an Invasion of Privacy”, by NBC-2 stated “The images captured by the cameras allow officers to access the owner’s address, driving record and even in some cases social security numbers if the driver has previously been arrested. ” NBC-2 is insisting that having a license plate scanner installed in law enforcement cameras is something that should occur (Elias). This can come to considerable help when dealing with vehicle crime because it would be an effortless way to find a missing car.

Another technology that the cameras can have is facial- recognition. For some people this can be a good thing for others it’s simply a bad idea. There was a case that involved bombing in a public place. The article, “After Boston: The Pros and Cons of Surveillance Cameras”on CNN states, “ facial-recognition software and other technologies are making security-camera images more valuable to law enforcement. ” In other words, Boston’s Police asserts that facial-recognition can be one of the most useful tools the cameras has (After).

It was the most easiest and fastest way to find a person. This would not be used on everyone just the suspects. Law enforcement cameras can help make justice, all video footage is kept in a data storage that with permission can be used in a court case. A fourteen year old boy named Roberto Duran was murdered because of a misunderstanding. In the article “Cameras on Every Corner: Protection or Invasion? ” states, “Roberto’s alleged killers, who had mistaken him for a rival gang member, were eventually arrested thanks to police surveillance cameras that captured the getaway.

In other words, the article asserts that because the cameras were there and were recording the criminal was able to get away with it and was arrested. Law enforcement camera recordings can be used in a court case if need with permission and can help strive for the justice that needs to be done (Cameras). A big problem going around right now is how police act or treat civilians. With police officers having to wear body cameras or surveillance cameras being around can have them think twice before speaking or treating someone a certain way because now they are being watched on what they are doing.

In New York, Saratoga County, a sheriff named Shawn R. Glans, slapped a civilian and just used profanity for no reason. In a “Law Enforcement: Behave, You’re on Camera,” by Brendan J. Lyons states, “Would he do it again? ” Glans responded, “If I knew the camera was there,no, because it does look bad. ” The basis of “Law Enforcement: Behave, You’re on Camera,” argument is that the police would behave differently knowing cameras are all around him (Law).

The cameras do not just assist with finding criminals, but to see if society is protected and secure, even from officials. In conclusion, although they are thought to invade our privacy , law enforcement cameras are a helpful tool for two main reasons. First, they have been proven effective to reduce crimes . But most importantly, cameras maintain protection for everyone. Law enforcement cameras are proven to be more of a good thing with all the abilities they have to offer and have them installed.

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