Police cameras on Manchester’s Elm Street don’t bother us, although we don’t know that they will add much to public safety downtown.
What is bothersome is the way in which this new program has been introduced to the public. Police Chief Carlo Capano simply mentioned it to the police commission at its meeting on Wednesday.
We know the commission is advisory only but it doesn’t seem that the chief sought the commission’s advice, or anyone else’s for that matter, on an initiative that has a bit of a Big Brother feel to it.
Was Mayor Joyce Craig aware of this? Were the aldermen? How about the city’s citizens? It would have been wise for the chief, and the police commission and mayor, to let the public know that this program was being considered instead of telling them after the fact.
That approach might have answered a host of questions. (Who will have access to the tapes? Will divorce lawyers and employers be able to check up on cheating spouses and wayward workers?)
The police could have gained more public trust and appreciation by going that route rather than what looks like a “my way or the highway” plan.