I ran into an issue with requesting a video from the Grandview Heights police a few months ago. Since I have not gotten any progress in my requests to the Chief, I’ll summarize the problem here.
After the incident on Glenn Avenue in Grandview, the video taken from the police car was released to local media, and short edits of the video were posted on all local TV station websites. I requested a copy of the full Metters police video taken outside his home on September 25, 2019.
The police department approved the release of the video, as they are required to do for all news media (and anyone else, the Open Document laws in Ohio require them to be released to anyone who asks). The problem I ran into was that the police would only supply the video in the CD (plastic disk) format.
The CD format is nearly obsolete. Like the VHS format before it, the number of users of that format is very small. Personally, I have not used a CD in the last 10 years, and I’m not even sure the CD disk player in my basement backup computer still works.
The use of CDs is bad for the environment. Every CD that is produced creates plastic that will not be recyclable (the metal inside CDs means it can’t be reused). The discarded CD – and every CD the police department produces is discarded after conversion to a digital format – will then add to the waste that Grandview sends to the landfill. The police department pays to create CDs, and then the service department pays to have them taken to the dump.
This isn’t the biggest issue the Grandview police need to address –supplying body cams for every cop on the street is a much more important upgrade the department should be working on.
But it is a connected issue – those body cams will be producing lots more video, and it will be requested more often, leading to stacks of CDs being produced by the department. That will be a waste of money and destructive to the environment. I hope the police department can be convinced to make a better choice.