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    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Cameras, More Cameras

    City's Crime-Fighting Cameras Get Mixed Reviews
    Mayor Daley Wants Cameras Throughout Chicago


    VIDEO

    Rob Johnson
    Reporting

    (CBS) CHICAGO Several years ago Chicago moved aggressively to put up cameras on street corners and put high-crime neighborhoods under surveillance. In the coming years, the mayor would like to have them everywhere.

    As CBS 2's Rob Johnson reports, the unmistakable blue flashing light signals to those living or walking through a specific neighborhood that someone is watching. But three years after being introduced in Chicago, just how effective are they?

    They are crime-fighting cameras and they are the wave of Chicago's future. Some have flashing blue lights, others are more subtle. Emergency management director Cortez Trotter believes they are making a difference.

    "I think that the impact can also be gauged by the comfort level that people feel and the requests that come through the police department and the mayor's office for additional cameras," Trotter said.

    Since 2003, Chicago police claim crime has gone down 30 percent in the 234 areas where the blue pod cameras are located. But at the corner of Chicago and Harding, they get mixed reviews.

    "Cameras don't do nothing. People will just go other places," Antwone Johnson said.

    "It helps a lot because a lot of things go on over here, drugs, murder and all of that," said Marlassa Hilson.

    At the corner of Ashland and Armitage, the reaction was also mixed.

    "Hopefully it will make the crime rate drop and that should justify everything," said Jeff Coates.

    "The neighborhood has changed a lot, but that's due to gentrification not because of the cameras," said Jerry Galan.

    In London, the cameras are on nearly every street corner. Just last year they captured the London train bombers on their way to create havoc. But still there are concerns here.

    "We can't blindly trust police," said Dr. Rajiv Shah at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Shah worries that these cameras are too invasive.

    "The issue of somebody watching the watchers is an important issue, and one that really needs to be taken on at a political level and make sure that some sort of checks and balances to make sure that these cameras aren't being abused," Shah said.

    Critics of these cameras contend that they are creating a big brother state, but authorities say there's no expectation of privacy on a public street corner."

    "These aren't cameras that invade your privacy going through your front door, going through your front window, things like that," Trotter said.

    "Well, it insults me because they are watching my people," Jesse Scott said.

    At the Office of Emergency Management there are a handful of people monitoring the various cameras 24 hours a day. But the Chicago Crime Commission's Jim Wagner says if a crime is committed, in most cases, they can go back and scan the tape for clues.

    "Whenever there is a gunshot, a notice is given to activate the information at headquarters, so they go to that camera and they know a gun shot occurred and they can look at the tape," Wagner said.

    The blue light cameras each cost around $23,000. The newer generation cameras cost $6,000. The bulk of the money used to pay for them comes from drug seizures and federal grants.

    In the next year, the city will spend $1 million for new cameras.

    "People really want these cameras in their communities," said Mayor Richard Daley.

    Not everyone agrees.

    "I think the cameras are bogus," Jesse Scott said. "Because you know that makes it easy for people that aren't doing their job."

    The question now is whether a camera is coming to your neighborhood. If you're talking about the blue cameras, the answer depends on the amount of crime there.

    As for the other cameras, police won't say how many are going up or where they are because it's a homeland security issue.

    (© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #2
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Pookie does not like them. I love it.
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    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    They are good here. And can help with the evidence side of the job before you even get on scene.
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  4. #4
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    They are good here. And can help with the evidence side of the job before you even get on scene.
    I bet they are the thing is I don't want one everywhere to me it is unecessary. If the police nowadays were trained to be the police then they wouldn't need some electronic camera to catch the bad guy. I know we can't be every where at once but it gets bad. We have guys that stomp their feet if the car they get don't have a friggin computer. Come on. Mine is always broke, so I don't rely on it. I am not a big fan of the camera especially when you end up under one after a good foot chase.
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