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Today's Question: Should City Council reconsider its decision not to install city-owned surveillance cameras downtown?

Thursday, September 17, 2009 | 10:25 a.m. CDT; updated 10:33 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 17, 2009

Keep Columbia Safe kicked off an initiative at the Tenth and Cherry Street parking garage on Monday morning for the installation of city-owned surveillance cameras throughout the downtown area.

The grass-roots organization, which focused on local crime, safety and support of effective law enforcement, chose the Tenth and Cherry Street location because it is the site of the June 6 robbery and attack of 25-year-old Adam Taylor. Footage of the group of seven teenagers and their 1 a.m. assault of Taylor captured on two of the garage’s surveillance cameras helped lead to some of the suspects’ arrests.

Led by Adam’s mother Karen Taylor, the organization will work to get the 2,579 signatures it needs by Oct. 31 to place the initiative on the April 2010 ballot.

The Taylors have been fighting for the installation of city-owned surveillance cameras downtown since Adam Taylor was attacked. At its July 20 meeting, the City Council denied Adam Taylor and his mother’s request that at a future meeting the council would hear public comment on and reconsider installing city-owned portable cameras downtown.

Mayor Darwin Hindman was the only council member to vote in favor of the proposal to place cameras in some locations downtown when the issue was voted on in April.

Some council members have raised concerns about the effects government-owned cameras would have on residents’ privacy. In his Aug. 24 letter to the Missourian, Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said that the absence of “probable cause” associated with the general public and the downtown geographic area means that cameras would violate citizens constitutional “right to privacy.” He also said comparable data suggests cameras are not the most effective and cost-efficient means of reducing crime.

Should the City Council reconsider its decision not to install city-owned surveillance cameras downtown?

 


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Comments

Ray Shapiro September 17, 2009 | 12:30 p.m.

Great video of a violent, cowardly, vicious gang attack on a vulnerable target.
I will refrain from posting anything further regarding my emotional response to said video.
This I will say:
Yes, there should be security cameras in isolated, confined, enclosed parking garages.
And while I have little problems with security cameras in public business districts, I believe it's the business owners' responsibility to pay for them.
If those business owners feel the need to pass the expense on to their customers, so be it.
Police patrol, private security and public vigilance towards themselves and their law-abiding pedestrian neighbors on the street should suffice for now.
(What does Mary Ratliff and her local NAACP have to say about this issue?)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 17, 2009 | 12:44 p.m.

What time was curfew back then in June?
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr September 17, 2009 | 5:43 p.m.

>>> What does Mary Ratliff and her local NAACP have to say about this issue? <<<

Obviously we all know they are silent and we all know why.

(Report Comment)
gary mills September 17, 2009 | 8:03 p.m.

Push your council reprentative for more cameras. What a bunch of chicken&#*% morons.

(Report Comment)
Terry Nevius September 19, 2009 | 1:05 a.m.

Hmmm ! Maybe, if the downtown surveillance cams would generate a little income, similar to those cams watching us at certain intersections in COMO, the city council would be more receptive to our Safety !!!!!!! Let's say we give $40 to the installing camera company for every aggravated assault or strong-arm robbery video-taped, like we do on the "red light" tickets being issued to our citizens. Then, a rebate of some sort could be paid back to the City by the Police Department, for making their arrest and conviction much simpler. Get it, we pay camera companies for "red light" tickets to our citizens - right?? Why not rebates also?? Commissions and rebates go hand in hand - ask any "salesperson"!! Let us not invade any citizen's privacy, if it is going to cost us money!!!! And, naturally we do not ever want to spend our taxpayers monies on Public Safety, that would be so wasteful! Please have that atty,? explain how he can hide behind "probable cause" and cost COMO lives or more "Downtown Danger", yet this "probable cause" is not a factor where traffic surveillance cameras are installed ???? He "probably can", however, I would like to hear it!! "Probable Cause" - real translation - no income for the City Council and their "pet projects" !!!!I see camera surveillance being installed Downtown and at high crime areas as a great priority to insure greater safety! Personally, I feel more secure at a stoplight than I do in a Downtown Garage or high crime area at night !!!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr September 19, 2009 | 4:21 a.m.

>>> Personally, I feel more secure at a stoplight than I do in a Downtown Garage or high crime area at night !!! <<<

Not with the way some of these drivers are with their tunnel vision these days. Often times I see people just about as scared as a paranoid Squirrel trying to cross a busy highway.

(Report Comment)

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