From an animal control officer, I realized why the Modesto Police Department discourages citizen photos of crimes. We have photographed neighborhood crimes and violations for months. I could not figure out why MPD is reluctant to act on "in-progress" photos.
For example, we photographed one dog attacking people and straying often. We turned photos in; we called in violations with photos; we ID'd the owner. We finally learned from an animal control officer that photos mean nothing. Repeated violations won't be prosecuted based on witnesses even with photos. The officers have to see the violations in progress. She added that MPD believes the photos can be "doctored." Wasn't that just another way of calling us liars? The officer explained it's the legal opinion of the city of Modesto.
We called City Hall to confirm that "citizen photos" cannot be trusted as evidence. We discovered no such policy and that citizen photographic evidence is admissible. No wonder citizens can be frustrated with MPD.
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