Body cams for animal control? Give it a shot

  • Monday, August 10, 2015 6:59pm
  • Opinion

Body cams on animal control officers? Why not give it a try?

If it proves helpful, then keep recording.

If it proves problematic, then stop the camera.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough will be considering a proposal to adopt body cams for animal control officers before the end of the year. This comes after the proposal’s consideration by the Animal Protection Citizen Advisory Committee.

The potential of threats to officers during stress-filled confrontations with the public prompted the body-cam proposal.

Body cams also are the latest rage in policing equipment, following public-police encounters that ended tragically in other communities.

For many in the public, the presence of an officer prompts reassurance. Others see it as a hand of authority to which they don’t wish to submit.

Add a beloved pet or animal into the mix, and sometimes situations get out of hand unbelievably quick. Such situations can escalate and, in the extreme, perhaps all parties end up in court where juries try to piece together an event.

Present-thinking is that a recording on a body cam might be helpful in determining who did right and who didn’t.

The most disturbing aspect of body cams — at least to the public — is the feeling of Big Brother watching. In other words, being under surveillance.

But, really, it’s already happening. Grocery stores, gas stations, malls, sports arenas, you name a place, it’s likely equipped with video equipment.

If it isn’t a business or government recording, then it’s individuals with video-equipped cellphones. When leaving home, it’s wise to assume the camera is on and behave appropriately.

Deciding to adopt body cams might be helpful to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s Department of Animal Protection.

It might be appreciated by the general public.

But, there’s no way to know for sure until body cams are given a shot.

 

— Ketchikan Daily News, August 8

More in Opinion

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via akredistrict.org)
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.