Jane Callahan ’22, Staff Writer

Source: Unsplash

Police Officers have always had the tough job of enforcing the law everywhere. Today, the world is in a state of uncertainty and turmoil. This reality makes their job all the more difficult.

We are witnessing an elevated abuse of African Americans and minorities, at the hands of white police officers. Thankfully, these bad officers are not the majority, but the minority.

 When an officer is sworn in, they make a commitment to protect people in their communities. Many of these communities are very dangerous, with drug and gun violence occurring on a regular basis. Police officers put their own lives on the line to keep the people safe.

  My son-in-law is an African American police officer. He was sworn into his police department in 2019.

Growing up, he was raised in a tough, lower socioeconomic neighborhood, where there was a lot of crime. However, my son-in-law, at a young age, made a very good choice for himself. He befriended the local police officers, and they helped mentor him. It was this friendship and bond that kept him on the right track, and out of trouble. Later, he graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology.

For my final paper in Cell Phone Photography, I chose to interview my son-in-law, asking him, as a police officer, what are your views on cell phone camera use, body- worn cameras that the officers on duty wear, and what do you think about the video cameras that are placed in public and record everything people do?

 This was his response to the question:

            “Body-worn cameras are proven to be effective in helping police agencies around the world. A body-worn camera is a reliable source of audio and visual interactions. It is up close and personal, validating the conversation and actions of the present situation. Most police departments throughout the country require officers to wear these cameras, for every call they answer. As an officer, I always introduce myself first, and then I explain to the individual(s) that everything said is being recorded on my audio and visual body camera. At times, the individual(s) behavior will improve, knowing the camera is on. Body-worn cameras and all cameras that surround me have no effect on the way I do my job. My position is to always approach people with respect, as we have learned in our training. Today, everyone has a cell camera. The cameras keep improving in quality. Also, people can now purchase a “Dash Camera” for their own vehicle. My relationship with the community is important to me. I am a community police officer. I continue to break barriers, with my fellow police officers. The current situation in our country is difficult. I am an African American police officer. I hear you, and I see you. My duty is to protect you. My hope is that people do not place good officers in the same category as the bad ones.”