9/25/14 (not published)

Washington Post
Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:


D.C. Police are trying out body cameras. News reports are emphasizing that cities using these cameras experience a decrease in false or exaggerated public claims against police by use of this "unbiased witness." That is only half the picture.

In any occupation (including ministry) there are some "bad apples." A segment of police are drawn to police work unconsciously by a need to prove they are good guys fighting and punishing the bad guys. Have you seen video clips of police brutality or read of police corruption? As a psychiatrist, I emphasize that these untypical behaviors are largely perpetuated by an unconscious process that the police "perps" are unaware of. They are not dumb. Under their own camera's surveillance the bad apples are better behaved. It is a win/win situation. Hopefully, in years ahead, technology will help society find, manage and correct all sorts of imperfect states of mind across the spectrum of society.

Sincerely yours,

Jan Polissar