Two news items from different states caught my eye this morning, because they remind me how backwards we are continuing to go in terms of surveillance and how much we’re starting to look like the UK’s surveillance state.
Mark Maroney reports the situation in Williamsport, Pennsylvania:
As Williamsport seeks bids for a surveillance camera system, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana remains at odds with a resolution approved by City Council last year indicating where the spyware may be mounted.
Campana wants to see a wider use of cameras to neighborhoods deemed by police as high crime areas.
However, a resolution limits the cameras to “parks and other public facilities.”
“My hands are tied,” Campana said. “I will do whatever I feel is making this city safer and won’t waver on that position. Criminals are scoffing because they see the city is not as aggressive on crime as it can be.”
Read more in the Sun Gazette.
Meanwhile, alena Parker reports the situation in the City of Conyers, Georgia:
Public safety took a front seat during the second day of the Conyers City Council’s annual planning retreat Saturday with detailed discussion of how technology can help policing efforts.
Mayor Randy Mills and the council traveled to Lake Lanier on Friday afternoon for the first day of the retreat, which included a presentation from the city staff and department heads. Officials picked up work again Saturday.
Police Chief Gene Wilson addressed the council during the first half of the day. He presented the 2010 crime statistics, along with requests for personnel, technology, and equipment. The chief asked for 10 officers, two detectives and four part-time communication officers. He quoted 99,844 calls for service in 2010, the most volume since 2005. A detailed outline of goals and objectives included plans to build up an anti-gang unit and a community liaison.
However, most of the lengthy discussion went on Saturday where council members weighed in on CPD’s proposal to set up citywide video surveillance for a real-time crime center.
Read more in the Rockdale Citizen