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City installs cameras for safety

Register • Aug 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM

My topic this week is about the amount of cameras being used by City Hall.

The city tells us we have a tight budget but right after it inks the union contract, miraculously, money starts to appear from almost nowhere. We are now expending $32,000 for cameras in and around City Hall all in the name of safety. There will be a total of 28 cameras with 16 cameras on the police side of the building and 12 cameras on the city side of the building. I think the city has out done itself with the cameras. I wonder if they will have audio connected with them. It seems the only sacred place will be the restrooms when visiting City Hall. So, when you enter the city building, there will be cameras on you at all times.

It has been several weeks since the license plate reader discussions took place and still no decision on whether or not the police department is going to discontinue the spying permanently. It doesn’t look hopeful that the cameras will be discontinued since they are taking so long to make up their minds whether or not to remove them. It just so happens that the police car that has the reader on it was involved in an accident and the reader was taken off the car. The car and reader are temporary off the road for now.

There doesn’t seem to be any follow-up of what the commissioners discuss so they can arrive at a decision and take the proper action needed. All that takes place is talk and more talk. Just give the order and have staff follow through with some kind of conclusion.

The license plate legislation was not clearly identified. It was misrepresented to the commissioners when they voted on the piece of legislation. The commissioners need to make up their mind whether or not they are going to reverse their vote.

Until next week, I think if establishments are going to use cameras, it should be disclosed upon entering any building that cameras are being used and the person can make the choice as to whether they want to do business with the establishment. Establishments are camera happy and they make up any excuse to justify the spying.

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