Their Day Has Arrived ... - The Missourian: Editorials

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Their Day Has Arrived ...

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:32 pm

A new star has arrived in law enforcement. Surveillance cameras are not new, and their importance in fighting crime is hardly new, but after what happened in Boston, the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of these cameras should be headed for a boom in business.

Surveillance cameras played the key role in locating the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. One of the suspects is dead, the other was seriously wounded by law enforcement officers and additional bombings may have been stopped by the locating of these crazed brothers.

The photos by these cameras are not the best, but good enough to identify criminals and especially terrorists. It is inevitable that the quality of photos from these cameras are going to improve. When that happens, these cameras are going to be even more important as crime fighters. This technology is going to advance to the point in which they may be the most vital crime-buster to hit the market in many decades. Investment in these devices is going to soar. Investments in improving the quality of the photos is going to rise.

There is no question that there is going to be an increase in surveillance cameras and in networking them. Many places, both public and private, already have them, but those may be minor in number to what is to come. While it’s true that surveillance cameras can be put out of commission by burglars and other types of criminals, even terrorists, there will be improvements to counteract their destruction also.

The media has been and is going to be even more a companion of the cameras in fighting crime and terrorism by disseminating the photos to a wide audience. The Internet and its social media outlets are very important in crime fighting.

It may be that surveillance cameras will be one of the most effective crime-fighting, terrorist-fighting equipment to arrive on the law enforcement scene for a long time. We doubt if they will ever surpass an alert citizenry as crime fighters. Crime after crime is solved by tips from alert citizens. In the world we live in today, nothing surpasses alert citizens who tip off law enforcement about their suspicions. Many, many arrests of criminals are the result of tips provided by alert citizens. A citizen must not fear he or she is overreacting by reporting suspicious activities or persons.

Crime-free zones can be created if citizens are alert and work with law enforcement agencies. It may result in criminals fearing those zones. It may not deter every criminal because some of them are not the brightest people to cross our paths.

Alertness can be taught. Since we live in such troubled and dangerous times, the more we know about helping law enforcement, the safer we will be.

/opinion/editorials