I was 12 the first time I saw a television. Now I am surrounded with advanced technology. That is the speed with which things change. One of the latest achievements is facial recognition. One computer can easily make an image of a person and compare it with others to identify the subject. I am of the opinion that every major police department should have this technology. Every time someone starts a riot, throws rocks and bottles at the police, break in, steal and set fire to local businesses, the police should make sure their cameras are running. Then as they are taken into custody, the suspects should be photographed and put into a technical line up to see of the computer can identify them.

So what should the courts do with the punks once they are identified, tried and found guilty? I think they should return to an old system of justice. I think they should resurrect the old chain gangs. Chain their legs together, give them some big rocks and a set of sledge hammers and let them make those big rocks into little rocks six days a week.

If the vandals think of doing their evil, and see the cameras watching every move they make, memory of those chains and that big hammer should be the first thing in their minds. I promise you that they will have second thoughts about their evil plans.

I am sure that the Baltimore street department could make good use of the gravel they would make while working on the chain gang. The culprits should be required to make enough gravel to repay the damage they did, the medical cost of those police that they injured with their rocks and bottles, and replace the goods of the merchants they stole or damaged.

I am not really comfortable with modern technology. I do not fit into the category of a high-tech redneck! But if we must have the stuff, let’s put it to good use. Equip our police with the little body cameras so that they can capture an image of all the bad guys they confront. Then make sure that each department has a facial recognition system so that the perps can be put into a line up for the computers to pick out the evil doers.

People who choose to go into the business of vandalism, assault against police, theft of goods from merchants who had nothing to do with whatever they say they are protesting, set fires, destroy public property like police cars and other acts of vandalism deserve long sentences in jail and regular days working on a chain gang until they pay back the damage they do.

We need to use the most-recent technology to identify and capture those street thugs. Then use an old fashion system of punishment. Computers and chain gangs together can make a large dent in the number of street gangs in our cities.

Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is frank@frankgillispie.com. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.

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