Why can’t we get better?
Herald Staff Writer
In 2015, we got photos sent to us from Pluto.
From more than 3 billion miles away, we discerned the part-time planet’s mountain ranges, canyons and valleys. We saw the magnificent heart-shaped sea of ice, complete with its fjords, contrasting vividly with the deep red landscape.
Granted, those images came from a multi-million dollar imaging system (fun fact: astrophysicist and Queen lead guitarist Brian May helped coordinate the pictures when they came in). But I’ve seen some pretty crisp, impressive images from a $50 camera strapped to a cat.
Which brings us to the purpose of this column. Last week, we published a security camera still of a suspect in an armed robbery. The absolute best description we can give from this image is “male human.”
This is not an isolated incident. Over and over and over, the police send us an image with a pixelated glob in it that the caption leads us to believe is supposed to be a suspect. “Help us find this robber.”
“Oh,” I say. “That’s a robber. OK.”
Let’s be clear, this is not the police’s fault. They are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. I blame the security camera companies and the businesses that hire them. They need to step up their game. If some random person on YouTube can send me crisp, high-definition images of his cat’s adventures, why are companies trying to protect their clients giving us this grainy garbage?
The sole purpose of these things is to try and capture an image police can use to identify a suspect. If the image leaves the subject’s species an open question, they are not fulfilling their sole purpose. Maybe they can fork out $50 and get the camera those YouTubers strap on their cats.