My Photo
Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chicago Crime Video Cameras A Great Success

Chicago began installing video surveillance cameras on light posts in high crime areas and they have now seen over a 20% drop in crime as a result. The people themselves overwhelmingly support the approach to crime fighting and it seems that the more crime in an area the more support for cameras from the people who live there.

In a poll to see if there is support for a proposal to require all businesses that stay open longer than 12 hours to install cameras in their parking lots and inside their stores, Blacks and Hispanics show higher (70%-67%) support than whites (46%) This seems to be counter intuitive.

In the case of the cameras that are already installed the support seems to cut across racial lines. 83% of Hispanics, 80% of whites, and 77% of blacks say they like the cameras. Many crimes have been solved due to the footage that the cameras record, and there is no telling how many crimes have been avoided by having the cameras there.

There is some concern about creating bad names for neighborhoods with high gang and drug traffic. They are beginning to be known as "blue-light districts" (due to the blue light on top of each camera that advertises their presence) But most people already know the bad neighborhoods and the cameras add a sense of security to those who live there.

Mayor Daley of Chicago is committed to the project and I think the city will see even more cameras. You can read more about this here.

Although I am a great fan of science fiction I do not see these cameras as "big brother" I see them as a way of increasing eyes on the ground in areas that need them. Beat cops are no longer the answer. Here, one cop watching multiple TV screens can inform a mobile ground team that can cover much more ground than a beat cop. That ground team can carry equipment with them that the beat cop could never carry and can get there faster than legs can go. Shopping mall police forces have been doing this for decades. It is time the cities wise up.


Anonymous Michael said...

I agree. It is an interesting look at human nature. People do not commit sin in the light for everyone to see, they like the darkness. Anyways, good thoughts!

10:24 AM, February 20, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home