Surveillance cameras may pop up downtown
Aiken Public Safety suggested placing surveillance cameras around downtown streets last week during the Horizons retreat, and City Council members have made it a short-term goal to study the costs and new technology available.
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Since: Jun 08
#1 Feb 7, 2011
Who will own and operate these cameras? Who will own the data? Will ALL recorded data be archived for an extended period? Will 'Joe citizen' have easy access to images on request for any legitimate reason such as to exonerate or use for evidence that will benefit him? If citizens are paying, they should have access too. If it is decided to be a good plan, will offers for bids be out there?
While on the surface this seems like a good idea, it is one fraught with potential pitfalls if implemented in a slipshod way. It would do well for those fostering this project to employ an unbiased citizens' committee to oversee this entire concept before and after installation to establish it's goals and consider privacy issues. The citizens of Aiken deserve to know where their money is going and whether it is being spent to best advantage. To the proponents of this plan I would ask how soon will we see tangible results that will offset the cost by a declining crime rate and/or a cost savings for public safety. After-all, money spent on public safety should beget savings and/or enhanced safety. Don't you think?
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