Of course they will never say they are better. But the idea of controlling surveliance cameras instead of the police is an indicator that they think it.
Neighborhood watch groups work best when they coordinate with the police. It is my understanding that this is mostly the case. In the Leiby Kletzky case, the police had publicly praised the efforts by Shomrim for their efforts – even though the police were not contacted about Leiby until a few hours after the Shomrim were. The Police said that it wouldn’t have made any difference.
The truth is that the public the Shomrim serve trusts them more than the police. They ought to be disabused of that notion. That the police were not contacted first or simultaneously in the Leiby Kletzky case speaks volumes about who is considered the first line of defense in Boro Park and similar neighborhoods. But Shomrim should be an auxiliary to the police. Not the other way around.
I would add that every volunteer should be trained in a program that is either coordinated or approved by the police – and then get certified! Their efforts together will then maximize protection of the community.
The police are better trained and more experienced to deal with crime and ought to be seen in that light. But in denying police access to these surveillance cameras Mr. Daskal feels that Shomrim are better equipped. And in the case of battered wives that could mean disaster.
About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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