Police cameras a wise investment

Published 11:02 am Friday, May 15, 2015

The old saying is that, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, a video can mean that nothing needs to be said at all.

It is with that concept in mind that we commend the Dowagiac City Council and Police Department for investing in updated in-vehicle and body-worn video cameras for the officers. We would like to see the Niles Police Department and others take a long, hard look at a similar approach to upgrading their digital recording devices.

With a cost of $33,000 this is not something that was — nor should have been — taken lightly. But the benefits for the officers and the community make this an easy decision.

The digital equipment automatically uploads footage to a remote server. This information will be able to be used as evidence in court proceedings to help ensure that lawbreakers receive the appropriate sentences, provide training opportunities, give leaders within the department the ability to hold officers accountable for their actions if a mistake is made and generally just create a better system of checks and balances to ensure that relationship between law enforcement and community remains strong here in southwest Michigan

We hope to never see the types of issues that have plagued communities across our nation like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Dowagiac councilman Charles Burling said, “It seems to convict the guilty and protect the innocent.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Having this valuable tool available should only make law-enforcement better and our community safer. That $33,000 price tag seems like a bargain when looked at from that perspective.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.