LETTER: Surveillance camera campaign a sham

Thursday, April 1, 2010 | 4:11 p.m. CDT; updated 10:19 a.m. CDT, Friday, April 2, 2010

COLUMBIA — Misinformation by Proposition I promoters is scaring April 6 voters with talk of a crime wave.

Fact: Downtown's a low-crime area when you remember population's rising and more arresting officers are downtown than before.

Fact: Where surveillance cameras exist, research shows no increase in prevention or convictions. Misstatements imply we've got no cameras downtown or in parking garages.

Fact: They're in garages, at banks and other businesses.

Fact: Police Chief Burton's stated preference is more officers over cameras.

Fact: Proposition I provides for no funds; it's an unfunded mandate.

Fact: The $25,000 supposedly offered by the downtown business association comes from our tax money.

A recession is no time to vote for costly, unnecessary "big brother is watching you" cameras posted at every corner watching us. Ordinary citizens don't need this harassment.

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Scott Henneboehle April 3, 2010 | 1:50 a.m.

Here here. In my experience, while there will always be rare exceptions, the downtown area is adequately monitored with the amount of officers walking around and patrolling in cars. Add the fact that the police station is located a block north of Broadway, and installing these cameras starts to seem like killing a gnat with a sledgehammer. Personally, I'd rather not sacrifice my Constitutional rights to privacy for a camera system whose impact on crime reduction is ostensibly minute.

(Report Comment)
phillipp young April 4, 2010 | 9:39 p.m.

anytime the government installs surveillance equipment, you can bet its for their benefit, not the ordinary citizens.just look at the stoplight camera costs money to buy the equipment, train people to operate it, and hire more people to watch the cameras, or have the staff already there to be stretched even thinner by taking the time required to check the cameras when they could be doing thier normal duties.and who pays for this?of course, we do.i don't know the city budget situation in Columbia, but if its anything like the one in West Plains, where i live, we cant afford any new unnecessary equipment, not sure we can afford the stuff we do need.

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