TODAY'S QUESTION: Is Columbia dangerous enough for downtown cameras?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | 12:03 p.m. CDT

Columbia voters passed Proposition 1 in April, which permitted the installation of security cameras downtown.

Passage was supported by Keep Columbia Safe, an organization founded by Karen Taylor after seven people assaulted her son. A security camera captured the attack, leading to five arrests.

This week, Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton recommended four camera locations for the City Council to consider:

  • Hitt Street and Broadway
  • Tenth Street and Broadway
  • Tenth and Cherry streets
  • Ninth and Cherry streets

According to Columbia crime statistics, nonviolent incidents are reported more often than violent ones, and most calls to the Columbia Police Department are self-initiated.

Is Columbia dangerous enough to need downtown security cameras?

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Ray Shapiro September 22, 2010 | 12:33 p.m.

("Is Columbia dangerous enough to need downtown security cameras?")
"Dangerous" enough to get Bob McDavid elected mayor.

(" McDavid was the only mayoral candidate to strongly endorse downtown cameras. "Other candidates raised the fear issue of crime, and people vote fear," Sullivan said. "They were successful with that. They spent a lot of money on that.")

(Report Comment)
lacinda florez September 22, 2010 | 3:01 p.m.

Well since our police can't seem to catch any criminals I think we are in desperate need of some form of security!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 22, 2010 | 4:07 p.m.

@lacinda florez:
IMHO, catching the bad guys is something CPD does a pretty good job at.
If you need a real sense of security in "The District," may I suggest you get a leashed junkyard dog at your side for any trips you might make downtown.

Prior to this exclusive downtown security camera expense for the city to incur, I never heard Chief Burton advocate the need for such devices to be used. I did hear him support the idea of a well implemented curfew program though. Whatever came of that?
answer: Karen Taylor, (mother of a crime victim), Carrie Gartner, (Director of The District), the Chamber of Commerce elite and the mayoral election.
Now all I see is an opportunity to back pedal on all the hoopla and fear made to pass this vote, which of course was used to help McDavid, Kespohl and Dudley get elected in the first place.

And how soon we forget:
("Skala personally opposes surveillance cameras but said he'll follow the wishes his constituents express in the vote on Proposition 1. He said private cameras financed by a community improvement district are a better idea.")
Crime rate in Columbia relatively flat since 2001

My guess is that the city council will decide that the budget they are responsible for will not stretch for this exclusive expenditure for "The District" and either it will be justified by allowing the cameras to be moved anywhere in the city or "The District" will finance cameras as a CID project.
Either way, the Chamber of Commerce elite have accomplished their mission. McDavid, Kespohl and Dudley are in.
Such being the case, let's at least bring back discussion on a well managed curfew program and address a "tool" which could truly enhance the quality of life in our community.

(Report Comment)
lacinda florez September 23, 2010 | 4:06 p.m.

@ Ray are you kidding me I can't tell you how many times I have heard --- number of officers responded (even with canine units) and the perp got away! LOL It's comical to think a person can walk into a facility in broad daylight rob a place and get away ON FOOT!

(Report Comment)
lacinda florez September 23, 2010 | 4:10 p.m.

@ Ray
Sorry I'm not so great with the texting what is IMHO?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 23, 2010 | 4:16 p.m.

It's My Health Organization

(Report Comment)

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