The employment of technology in dealing with criminals has long been debated upon. For instance, capital punishment via electric chair, gas chamber, and lethal injection is criticized for its inhuman and barbaric nature. And yet, victims of heinous crimes and supporters of the death penalty find capital punishment as protection to the society. (Koch, 1985)
In the same way, the use of police stun guns is viewed by those against it as unnecessary infliction of pain and, therefore, inhuman. However, crime victims see the use of stun guns in capturing their assailants as beneficial and valuable. Similarly, the use of patrol car surveillance has been criticized as invasion of privacy but individuals who yearns that the violation of their rights find justice perceive the use of patrol car surveillance as a valuable means to expediently suppressing the assailants.
Police Stun Guns
Because of the high crime rate in the country, many people have succumbed to the inevitability of using police stun guns to protect innocent civilians from attackers as well as to stop the assailants with minimal harm against the latter. Stun guns use high voltage to stop an attacker by immobilizing him but without inflicting serious or permanent damage. (Eaton, 2007) “Two mechanisms allow this to occur: it confuses the nervous system by sending electric current through that system and it also causes the muscles of the body to contract rapidly making them do a lot of work in a short amount of time depleting their energy making them unable to move.” (Beatty, 2007).
Those against the use of stun guns may argue that it is unnecessary infliction of harm against the suspected assailant. However, the fact remains that criminals who attempt to flee also need to be captured for the benefit of the victim and this can be done with minimal harm against the assailant with the use of stun guns. Thus, stun guns do not only allow the victims to have their assailants captured but the offenders are also protected in the manner that the harm that they would receive is minimal as compared to being subjected to shooting.
Those against the use of stun guns would also argue that this can be greatly abused, if widely legalized. Yes, abuse may be present, especially with the background of police officers. In my opinion, however, it is not the mere use of stun guns that should be attacked but the wide use of it without measures that would protect the other innocent individuals to whom it may be used against. Using stun guns to pacify a criminal and preventing him to flee is necessary but using the stun guns for abusive purposes is not. The society will feel safer with the knowledge that their protectors, the police officers, are armed with effective means to capture the criminals around them.
Patrol Car Video Surveillance
The use of patrol car video surveillance has been attacked because of its likely utilization to invade one’s privacy. In a democratic country, such as ours, the privacy of private individuals is held with utmost importance. Using patrol car video surveillance to monitor the whereabouts of individuals for unwarranted purposes is condemnable. However, if it is used only for legal purposes, its function is inevitably valuable.
With the use of patrol car video surveillance, apprehension of traffic violators may be done with more ease, the capture of criminals attempting to flee may be done expediently, and crimes committed may be easily monitored. The society has come to accept this seemingly invasion of their privacy because “we have become so terrified of violent crime and terrorism.” (Pompano, 2007).
In the opinion of many legal scholars, “video surveillance appears to present a valid use of the state’s power to protect its citizens.” (Nieto, 1997) It is not an intrusion of the individual’s privacy but is simply a recording of the events that occur in the “public space for which individuals do not have reasonable expectations of privacy.” (Sher, 1996 in Nieto, 1997) In my opinion, the safety of the society holds a higher place than my own personal space.
The use of police stun guns and patrol car video surveillance is necessary to protect the society. True, the use of police stun guns and patrol car video surveillance may result to abuse. I am against its abuse. I am against its unwarranted use. But, if it is used appropriately and if it is necessary, I support the government for its employment. But, I encourage the government to employ precautionary measures to prevent its abuse because more than the recognition of its importance, I recognize the rights of innocent individuals who may be subjected to the unwarranted use of stun guns and video surveillance. I do not have the power to protect the society as a whole against lawless souls. But the government has the power to do so. And, because I recognize that being part of the State, I need to place the interests of the society as a whole at a higher place than my own interest, I am convinced that the use of police stun guns and patrol car video surveillance is inevitable.