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Houston's police chief is suggesting putting surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets and even private homes.
Chief Harold Hurtt today said it's another way of combatting crime amid a shortage of officers.
Facing a shortage of police officers, Police Chief Harold Hurtt called Wednesday for a new type of patrol: surveillance cameras on downtown streets, apartment complexes and shopping malls — and in extreme situations, private homes.
"If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Hurtt told reporters.
Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers.
"I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a regular briefing.
Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said that although some would consider cameras an invasion of privacy, "I think a lot of people would appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them."
Building permits should require malls and large apartment complexes to install surveillance cameras, Chief Harold Hurtt said. And if a homeowner requires repeated police response, it is reasonable to require camera surveillance of the property, he said.
Originally posted by LoganCale
alphabetaone: I don't care what their reason for it is. Even if they currently intend to only look at the camera when they receive a call to see if an event is really taking place, it's still a violation of privacy and there is no guarantee that it won't be used for really harmful things in the future.
This is something that many people don't seem to understand. The reason everyone should fight even the tiny little things that seem insignificant now in the grand scope is because when we give the government one tiny little thing, they'll latch on to that and keep adding more power until they have total control of that area.
[edit on 16-2-2006 by LoganCale]
As for privacy, Hurtt told reporters, "If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Uh, because you respect the Constitution and personal liberty, maybe? The KGB used that same line in Communist Russia, one recalls, on their way to filling up a system of gulags.
Mayor Richard Daley wants to require bars open until 4 a.m. to install security cameras that can identify people entering and leaving the building. Other businesses open longer than 12 hours a day, including convenience stores, eventually would have to do the same.
Milwaukee is considering requiring cameras at stores that have called police three or more times in a year. The Baltimore County Council in Maryland ordered large malls to put cameras in parking areas after a murder in one garage last year. The measure passed despite objections from business groups.
"We require shopping centers to put railings on stairs and install sprinkler systems for public safety. This is a proper next step," says Baltimore County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, who sponsored the ordinance.
"The safer we make the city, the better it is for everyone," says Chicago Alderman Ray Suarez, who first proposed mandatory cameras in some businesses. "If you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about?"