Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico cops shouldn’t come with cameras

Megan Mann

Is it just me, or is the whole idea of the Chico Police Department making its officers wear body cameras in an effort to decrease police brutality a really bad one?

For starters, officers will be wearing these cameras at all times, and all the information recorded will be accessible online by the general public.

So if I ever get a visit from my friendly neighborhood Chico police officer at my apartment and he comes in, not only will everyone and their mother be able to see how to get to my place, but also what’s inside.

I feel so much safer.

But having my mess of an apartment open for any burglar to see on the Internet isn’t the biggest issue here.

The whole reason why the Chico Police Department is even considering playing Big Brother on its officers is because the Butte County Sheriff’s Office is doing so in response to brutality allegations against one of its sheriffs.

Decreasing police brutality makes up for a violation of my privacy, right?

Yeah, I’m still not buying it. Well, at least not in Chico.

See, Chico doesn’t really have a problem with police brutality. Actually, I’d say it’s more of the opposite.

I’ve heard stories from people who have had run-ins with the cops before, and most of the time they’ve got off with warnings. The police officers in Chico are pretty lenient when it comes to student offenses.

This is a college town and students are bound to screw up occasionally. Just because they do, doesn’t mean that they deserve a mark on their record.

Hell, most of the time they just need a good scare from an officer to set them straight, not a ticket and a phone call to their parents.

So no, I don’t think the Chico Police Department should cop-cam its officers. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office? Obviously yes if its having brutality issues, but Chico cops and students shouldn’t be punished for Butte County’s problems with its police officers.

The Chico Police Department has a great relationship with the community and students, but these cameras will end up causing more bloopers than anything.

Megan Mann can be reached at [email protected] or @meganisthemann on Twitter.

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