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"Smile…Gotcha…"

 

The Rocket-Courier is to be commended for recently publishing a surveillance photograph of an alleged burglary suspect in the hopes of acquiring a positive identification and the ultimate arrest of the offender.

If you take the time to examine the daily crime count reports appearing in print in any local newspaper, it seems that although the police are doing a stellar job nabbing criminals every day, they still need as much assistance as they can get from the citizens of our community to help them solve crimes.

Currently, there is welcome good news in this critical area of concern. Recent technological advances in still and video photography, when used legally and ethically, can assist homeowners, businesses, industry, the military, governmental regulatory agencies and law enforcement immensely in the fulfillment of their missions protecting life and property from scourge of crime.

In the private sector, basic, affordable camera systems, produced specifically for home and business safety and security on one’s own property, are readily available at the retail sales level. Highly sophisticated, specialized, image and audio recording operations, linked to computer networks are commonly used for commercial, industrial, military and policing efforts.

But the most significant use of these types of technological advances, which is believed by some to benefit most people by protecting private property is, the home security system.

The photographic evidence, legally obtained from home security systems, can be admitted in court cases, in both the prosecution of offenders and the exoneration of the wrongfully accused.

Home surveillance systems services can be provided to purchasers by private security firms or obtained by the homeowner, and they can run the gamut from simple, single-shot stealth-type game cameras to elaborate multi-camera units featuring optical and audio recording capabilities.

Due to individual liability concerns, safety and security proponents purport that it is advisable to seek legal assistance prior to installing any security system and to follow all applicable federal, state and local laws relative to this activity, even by private individuals on your own private property.

Especially for rural residents, living in somewhat remote areas such as ours here in Bradford County, where a limited number of available authorities may be miles away and occupied by another emergency call when immediately needed at your location, the home video system, when used appropriately under the color of law, is beginning to take center stage. This latest and very effective tool is assisting law enforcement and the criminal justice system by photographing and catching alleged offenders committing illegal acts. “Gotcha!”

 

Robert A. Young

Bradford County

 

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