Council authorizes agreement to install, maintain downtown security cameras

Monday, May 2, 2011 | 6:53 p.m. CDT; updated 10:55 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Four cameras are to be installed downtown. The recommendations for their locations are based on an analysis of crime 'hot spots' occurring from April 2009 through March 2010.

COLUMBIA – An ordinance authorizing an agreement between ISG Technology and the city of Columbia to install and maintain a mobile video system will receive an introduction and first reading at Monday's City Council meeting. 

The ordinance would place security cameras at four locations in downtown Columbia at a cost of $73,863.50 to the city. The agreement includes all necessary materials, a complete installation and six months of maintenance and support.

The four locations recommended by Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton are: 

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

The recommendations were drawn from the results of a mapping of crimes in downtown Columbia, which department crime analyst Jerry East assembled. The locations were near or part of "hot spots," or areas with more crime, on the map.   

In April 2010, Columbia voters approved Proposition 1 authorizing the placement of four security cameras in the downtown area. Karen Taylor, the founder of Keep Columbia Safe, started the petition to introduce cameras downtown after her son was assaulted in a downtown parking garage, according to a previous Missourian article.

Burton said that while the cameras may not even record a crime, they could act as a deterrent for criminal activity, according to a previous Missourian article. Those who opposed Proposition 1 expressed doubt about the cameras' benefits and some said the cameras were an invasion of privacy. 

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Jeremy Calton May 2, 2011 | 7:54 p.m.

Aside from the indisputable fact that a passive camera would not have prevented what unfortunately happened to Adam Taylor....the law was passed in response to a parking garage assault, but the ordinance specifically EXCLUDES cameras in parking garages. (Sec 24-130)
Also, we voted on "safety" cameras, not security cameras or surveillance cameras. But the ordinance promptly redefined surveillance cameras as safety cameras.
Hmm, I wonder what reason proponents could possibly have had to present this to the voters as a referendum on safety, rather than surveillance?

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