A rose to the Starkville Police Department for its efforts to coordinate its surveillance camera with those of private citizens and businesses. Such camera systems have become an ubiquitous part of modern life, raising concerns over the Orwellian idea that “big brother” is always watching. But that ship has already sailed, and while we may sacrifice privacy, we may also benefit in security. Studies show that the mere presence of cameras is often a deterrent to crime, and the use of cameras of all types has helped solve crimes and protect people and property. But police surveillance cameras are expensive and can’t be installed everywhere. With that in mind SPD has turned to Fusus, a platform that allows business and residential owners to share footage captured by their own camera systems with the police. Cameras can directly send video to officers, contributing to the agency’s capacity for critical incident management. By tapping into existing resources, the SPD is expanding its use of surveillance cameras to make the community safer. Through a partnership with Ring, Columbus implemented a similar initiative earlier this year. We commend this common-sense approach and urge our other cities to explore similar opportunities.
A rose to Missionary Union Baptist Church for the two new historic markers on the site of the church. The church, located on Fifth Avenue North in Columbus, was established in 1833 as a place of worship for the city’s Black population, almost all of whom were slaves at the time. Last week, the church’s important contributions to the city’s history were honored with an historic marker. For some, the marker will be a reminder of that history. For many more, it will be a revelation of that history. Sadly, so much of our Black history has been neglected and ultimately forgotten. But that history is a shared history, not only of Black community, but of our community as a whole. It reminds us of an important time and inspires us to acknowledge and learn from that history. These markers make us a better community because they help us achieve both those purposes.
A rose to Body Builders Ministries and residents of Cross Sober Living for spending an October Saturday picking up trash in Columbus. Each week, it seems like some civic, church or social organization is busy with similar projects throughout the Golden Triangle. While every group has its specific mission targeting a particular group or cause, cleaning up our city streets and neighborhoods is something that benefits all of us. It also sets a good example for our children and young people. Of course, you don’t have to be part of a group to pick up and clean up, but joining others in a group effort always adds an element of fun to the effort. Our pleasant fall days won’t last forever, so we encourage folks to take advantage of it by making our communities more beautiful. So thanks to everyone who has participated in these clean-ups. Keep it up!
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.