Skip to comments.In cameras, Bellwood sees crime disappear
Posted on 04/05/2005 11:44:50 AM PDT by Outland
Pretty soon, if you're tossing a paper napkin on the ground, making an illegal U-turn or even letting Fido relieve himself on the streets of Bellwood, be forewarned: Somebody could be watching.
In the hopes of eliminating crime, village officials say they'll have all the public ways in the 3.5-square mile town under camera surveillance within two years.
Though other cities like Chicago have set up cameras in high-crime neighborhoods, Bellwood will be the first town in Illinois, and possibly the first in the country, to have every public thoroughfare, sidewalk and alley under the watchful digitized eye of the Bellwood Police Department.
Civil libertarians question Bellwood's approach and wonder how much surveillance is too much.
"Where is the conversation about what kind of society we want and whether we think it's appropriate to do this?" asked Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the Illinois ACLU.
Bellwood's mayor said he welcomed the suggestion that his town might be considered something akin to a Big Brother-land.
"I wish we could create that image. I would love that," Mayor Frank Pasquale said with a chuckle. Although village officials say their town is not unsafe, and in fact crime has dropped in the last two years, they are aiming for a crime-free future.
"Let this be a warning to our criminals," Pasquale said. "Be aware. We have you covered. So go elsewhere.".
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Wouldn't it be logical to also place spy cameras in the police station and city council's office?
This is 2005, not 1984.
I love the "Go elsewhere" statement at the end. I live in the ultra-liberal community of Oak Park which is pretty close to Bellwood. Criminals are always welcome in gun-free Oak Park. But, hey, at least we are a "nuclear-free" town and believe in "tolerance" and "diversity."
"This is 2005, not 1984."
Prove it! ;0)
I really hate to lean toward the ACLU on this one. Therefore I will avoid doing so by pretending I never read this article. Signing off.
No... the citizen's wouldn't be able to fine them for anything. The citizens aren't residents, you see.. they're just cash-cows for Pasquale's overblown dreams.
Dreams like the nice brick and mortar homes and stores he leveled in order to build cheap particle-board homes with huge price tags to increase tax revenues for the "public's own good", you know. NEVERMIND THAT THEY ARE ONE BLOCK OVER FROM A GARBAGE DUMP AND RIGHT NEXT TO A BUSY INTERSTATE.
Why not the ACLJ?
Ditto. You can't even pick your nose, spit, or pull out a wedgie in that town without risking a photo being circulated. :)
I find it interesting that some of these cameras are actually owned by contractors, they make agreements with the City's where they collect a percentage of the fines generated.
It's a very profitable business.
at the link below, scroll down to "Where Do All The Pictures Go"
CLOAK OF ANARCHY
by LARRY NIVEN
* * *
Someone at police headquarters had expected that. Twice the usual number of copseyes floated overhead, waiting. Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each with a television eye and a sonic stunner, each a hookup to police headquarters, they were there to enforce the law of the park.
No hand to be raised against another - and no other laws whatever. Life was often entertaining in a Free Park.
* * *
"It's a very profitable business."
yep, cost me 330 bucks!
and I just "rolled a right turn on red"...
This is a trend about which I have mixed feelings, but one thing is certain: It will continue. Some cities already have extensive camera networks in place that are monitored by face-recognition software.
They have surveillance cameras all the place in London and the research says that it hasn't brought the crime rate down at all.
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