The shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy left many questions lingering in the community, most significantly: what can be done to keep this from happening again? The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is seeking to increase transparency by outfitting 250 sheriff’s deputies with lapel cameras that will record audio and video while an officer is on duty. Although the Petaluma Police Department said there are no funds currently to purchase lapel cameras locally, a large majority of those who voted in this week’s Petaluma360.com poll supported the idea of equipping police officers with video cameras.
Here were some of the comments.
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“There is no reason not too. The city needs to come up with the money and make it happen. This is the opinion of a 35-year law enforcement veteran.”
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“This is really too much.”
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“Absolutely. If they are doing nothing wrong then they won’t have an issue with it. Knowing they are being recorded will probably reduce the complaints against officers and protect them from frivolous lawsuits, and protect the city from false claims.”
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“Definitely, but they won’t do it. It would all but eliminate their selective enforcement of the law that is currently rampant. They won’t do it because it would prove how incompetent they are.”
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“It can save them or damn them. It will keep police more aware of what they’re doing to help protect themselves.”
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“How would the city pay for them? They are too busy throwing money into lawsuits outside of the city limits, such as Lafferty Ranch, stop the casino, Dutra.”
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“I don’t think Andy Lopez should be the reason. I think it’s a good form of checks and balances to ensure that police are doing their job to protect and serve, and not abusing their power.”
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“Spend the money on stuff to protect the public, not the police.”
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“Wicked police force in Petaluma nowadays, they need to be accountable and transparent to be somewhat controllable. I have heard horror stories regarding the clandestine activities of the PPD.”
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“Yes, for the protection of all.”
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