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Houston police chief wants cameras in apartments, houses

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posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 10:31 AM
I saw this linked from PrisonPlanet and thought, "Now how has Alex Jones twisted words to make a clickable headline?" But then I actually read the AP article.

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.


I mean, I'm speechless. The mayor followed up later saying that he thinks it's more of a brainstorm than a decision. But they should never even consider such a thing. Cameras in people's houses being mentioned so casually? Unbelievable.

That police chief needs to be fired.

posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 10:44 AM
And people mock me because i read prison planet site... Your right, the man should be fired and a recruitment campaign set up to hire more police.

One thing of note, do you notice that people just attribute it to a brain storming session and not a civil liberties nightmare? all i can say is that goverments world wide 'leak' a bit of a plan, see how the public react and if theres no out cry they go ahead and do it...

posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 10:52 AM
I think PrisonPlanet is a fine source. Just follow the links through to the articles off his site. He takes his analysis to the worst case scenario and I prefer to make my own analysis from the original article, so I don't really pay attention to what he has to say about it and just take the sources.

Yes, public outrage needs to be there, even when they downplay it as a brainstorm session. Because if they don't get any angry calls, they might think "Hey, that's not such a bad idea after all. No one seems to care. Let's do it!"

posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:32 AM
I know that the Security Industry in general has had numbers published in various Industry Press (Security Dealer, Security News) to name a few, where they state that the number of false alarms to actual incidents is rediculously disproportionate.

To put that into perspective, approximately 95% to 97% of all Alarm signals, medical alerts, fire alarm signals turn out to be false alarm; thus the need in many regions and boroughs to enforce false alarm fines and permits on residences and commercial industry before an authority will even respond to a dispatch call.

I suspect that this Police Chief probably was looking at the visuals in Apartment complexes and Private homes as another means by which to stifle the outrageous false alarm ratio, as opposed to being able to be the big brother in the policing world. Cops, by nature, aren't really all that visionary and tend to be very short-sighted when it comes to the long term. I just couldnt see a Cop (yes a police chief is still a cop), having enough thought into a situation like this to see anything OTHER than their short-sighted need to make their job easier.

IMO, I dont see this as any conspiracy.


posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:47 AM
Here are a few more sources on this I found.

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."

No, Mr. Teas, I generally prefer the thought of less eyes watching me.

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.

Article link

He's using the same old worn out "if you aren't doing anything wrong, what's the big deal?" argument. He should be laughed at and thrown out of office.

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. It's how they do everything:

Cars start adding seatbelts. Then the government requires all carmakers to put seatbelts in their cars and make the wearing optional. Then they make it mandatory for everyone to wear them.

Apply that to this. The police have an optional thing for people to put video cameras in their homes that "make them safer," then a few years go by and it becomes mandatory for them all to have cameras.

I'm opposed to it being optional. Because it will eventually be mandatory. And it sounds like this guy wants to jump ahead and make it mandatory already. He is a traitor to the Constitution and the principles that once made America great.

[edit on 16-2-2006 by LoganCale]

posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 12:05 PM
I don't recall hearing this on the local news here in Houston. Good find LoganCale.

I posted a thread the other day about how the Houston media seemed to be going out of their way to add the phrase "Katrina evacuee" to any story, mostly negative, even remotely related to the refugees. I thought they were trying to push them out, but after reading this I think they don't want to push them out but rather use them to find another way to violate our rights. I should have known better.
Houston might very well be the guinea pig for the rest of the nation.

Surveillance cameras won't prevent crime. There has to be another reason.


[edit on 16-2-2006 by Dr Love]

posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 01:03 PM

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]

Dont get me wrong Logan, im on you're side with all of that...without further clarity though, superficially it seemed as though it were a flippant statement made by someone with a less than intuitive mind.

I agree wholeheartedly that the things that seem insignificant now, or seem stupid or optional now, will eventually become a mandate.

Power to the people, not the Government.


posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 01:44 PM
Oh, I don't neccessarily think it was a premeditated conspiracy to spy on everyone. However, this police chief may seriously believe it's a good idea and that's a dangerous thing for multiple reasons. It's wrong in the first place. It may be used for even worse reasons in the future. And other departments in other parts of the country will hear about it and try to put it in place as well.

posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 12:16 AM
This article makes a great point and actually points out the ridiculousness of the idea unlike all the other articles...

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.

I'm surprised at the lack of outrage at even the suggestion of this idea by a government official. I get the indication that many people feel "Well, it's not in my area, so it's not my problem." but that couldn't be further from the truth. If it's allowed to happen in Houston, other police departments will pick up the idea and implement it in their area too. It needs to be shot down right away and not. allowed. to. happen.

posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 09:15 PM
I feel so safe that our own police chiefs are recommending that we sacrifice our fundamental privacies in order to combat crime. Makes me shudder to think of all the 'illegal' espionage that our law enforcement agencies conduct on us. From the police I have met, they don't appear to have any formal education or moral upbringing. But we will let them operate as 'police officers'. The police talk more dirtier around here then the trouble makers do. I have never been called so many obscenities for doing 40MPh in a 25mph zone. I am a "nobody", "a retard", "a pussy", "A smartass", "rude", "stupid", "a f'ing moron", "an idiot", and "a screwup". Not to mention I apparently always want to fight them when I get pulled over, or so that's what they say to try and instigate me so they can try to wack me with a baton or flashlight.

Apparently the police cheifs are no better. Heck my DARE officer(which is a police officer who educates students about the dangers of drugs) was arrested for having 100 pounds of marijuana, and for tipping off drug dealers to investigations.

What a world we live in. This guys should be fired for negligence in duty(failure in upholding the constitution and the laws). Or at least conspiracy against rights.

[edit on 19-2-2006 by ImplementOfWar]

posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 09:26 PM
Why not in public bathrooms? We all know how much drugs get passed along in those places... Or changing rooms in stores, or why not have them on sidewalks pointing straight up in case women are trying to smuggle drugs underneath their skirts?

This guy sounds like a perv who wants to make his illegal activities legal.

"I wasn't spying on you with these binoculars I was making sure there wasn't anything criminal going on."

"Then where are your pants?"

Then he pulls out a baton and beats the woman to death, plants some drugs, puts some pants on, then calls HQ to report a druggy that attacked him.

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:10 AM
thats what i was thinking fire that wacko police chief. he doesnt give a rats ass about privacy at all! earth to the cheif... not everybody with a public home is a criminal and not everyone living in an apartment is a criminal either. if i was his boss id fire him on the spot.

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:20 AM
Now Chicago and other cities are trying to require bars and other facilities that stay open late to have police cameras inside as well.

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.

I don't like cameras on the streets, but that's practically unstoppable now. But this is proposing the forcing of private businesses to have cameras hooked to the police network in their building. That's not a good thing. And it's becoming the new trend all over the country, it seems.

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.

There is a major difference between stair railings and cameras. The railings don't record and report your fingerprints to the police department for storage when you touch them. Also, three times a year for a business is nothing. That's an easy way for it to seem reasonable at first sight even though it actually covers nearly every store.

"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?"

There's that argument again. They really like it, don't they?

Fact is, I think it's going to be hard to stop things like this from happening even if there is public outrage now. People might be outraged for a while, but then they forget about it and it happens anyway. I'm not saying to give up, but within ten years I'm sure people will have cameras in their houses monitoring them, no matter what we do to try and stop it.

[edit on 20-2-2006 by LoganCale]

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:48 AM
In Japan there are cameras everywhere - in shopping malls, in the streets, in small shops, elevators, bars, highways....not in private households.... as yet....

There are some in public toilets/public baths/love hotels, however. Illegal ones, which they then sell `underground` for people who have that voyeur fetish!

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 04:32 AM
so we justify a 1984 style nation based on fear mongering? We give up freedom to paradoxically justify safety? what sort of morons have we become..... I swear to god the saturated fat is clogging our brains. Do we really even stop to believe the single biggest threat to our safety isn't the ones sitting in office, not the ones wearing terry cloth towel on their head?

OMFG we may as well slap the irons on our selves.... if you're not doing anything wrong why should you worry..... heres some choice bloody phrases,,,,, the paris hilton video the other paris video the pam and tommy video the pam and brett michaels video.... enough bloody freakin reasons.?

Or how bout this oldy but freakin goldy... the consti freaking tution... clear enough for you myopic christian fundamental dictatorship flag wavers yet? my general message is STFU if you don't like the constitution if it doesn't fall in your favor that week.... just SHUT UP SMILE AND BURN YOURSELF LIKE A BUDDHIST FREAKIN MONK IF IT REALLY UPSETS YOU THAT MUCH BECAUSE WE DON"T NEED YOUR NARROW MINDED SORT ANYFREAKIN WAY

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:19 AM
Camera + Privacy / Shotgun blast = no more cameras.

That is what I think about the whole idea. I am in Dallas Tx and I know how you feel in Houston. They have already made a 30million dollar issue out of it here. The dallas police are getting 40 cameras for the high crimes area and 15 more for areas like bars, resturanuts...etc.

The reaction here was mixed but Iam sorry. If you can't get enough people hired onto the police force there is an internal problem not and external one.
my equation for this is: Dallas+cameras+police watching= fatter cops eating donuts.

wow look at were our tax dollars are going to cops watching television all day long. that sure is protecting us.

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:35 AM
Let's have this sheriff be the very first to have his home monitored. We'll see how he feels about the matter a couple of years in. Between the Houston and Miami police , things are getting a little freeky. Should this suprise anyone. The Bush's wield a lot of influence in both cities.

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:15 PM
When I first came across this thread, I thought it would be nothing. The people wouldn’t stand idle while their civil rights were ripped away from them, while everything they do, and perhaps everything they say could at any moment be watched and heard. You wouldn’t know if someone’s sitting behind a desk watching or listening while you’re within optical and visual range, there would be no way to be certain. But in truth, it would be entirely possible that eventually, and even swiftly, a camera would be inserted into every conceivable area within each American city. This means, a camera in every major roadway intersection (which are already installed in many cities, and active in others), a camera in your place of employment, a camera at each local business your frequent, a camera outside your home, a camera in your living room, a camera in your bedroom, a camera in your bathroom….a camera in your shower. Every spot that can’t be seen by a camera or heard by a microphone is a spot where a crime could occur, or be planned. It wouldn’t be a stretch of imagination to assume they would be everywhere at some point.

So of course, it wouldn’t happen. People won’t stand for it. They’ll see it from a mile away, as it were. So I call my best friend, who’s big on “fighting the man.” An example, she does such things as boycotts Converse for its child labor use and low wages in poverty stricken nations, and attempts to inform others of those acts, and even gets signatures for various petitions. Of course she wouldn’t stand for this, right? Wrong. She says she has no problem with it. “It’ll reduce crime,” she says. In her opinion, crime prevention is higher up on the hierarchy of importance than personal freedom, as well as protecting ourselves from what seems to be currently somewhat less than a benevolent government, and could become more and more corrupt each day – in fact it probably will. Now, because I attempted to explain what I felt is her error in thought to her, she is angered that I “don’t respect her opinion, and assume she is wrong.”

Alright, that was a fluke, I thought. It wasn’t, however. I called two others and IM’d one other. All three had the same sentiments as Chelsea, my best friend.

So it seems I was wrong, but I wasn’t incorrect in my opinion that what could eventually come to pass would be terrible and was something I couldn’t stand idle and allow to happen, I was wrong to assume it wouldn’t happen because the people wouldn’t let it. It looks likely that the majority of the people, in my opinion, will be at least apathetic toward the spying if not pleased and filled with patriotism. But of course, I caution you that this conclusion is based on only my contacting three people…but even again those three were people I was almost positive wouldn’t be okay with it, and in face I believed they would be outraged.

So I thought about it a bit, and at first I was worried, a bit frightened, this could lead to a civil war of sorts. People like myself will be forced to flee the city to the countryside in order to evade the spying, and in order to keep what would be our short-term freedom, we’d have to act, fight the cities (the government and perhaps its citizens). If we did not, and if we just hid in the country, I imagine the government would eventually find many of those who disapprove and detain or rebuff us. That seemed like the worst case scenario. Upon further thought, however, I realized that was far from the worst case scenario. The worst that could happen would be that there are too few of those who wouldn’t stand by while our freedoms are taken away, and as such there will be no fighting the government. Perhaps there will be only a few thousand, who will oppose this. We would be no match for our oppressor. Those of us who oppose, knowing this, would be less likely to fight back, and the numbers of opposing forces would be reduced even further. Where does this leave us?

I think you can imagine, but if not perhaps you would care to read the book 1984 by George Orwell. I fear that, ladies and gentleman, could very well be our future, or something to that effect. If you think about it, this isn’t the only thing that is similar to the government in 1984. There are many other things, such as the people seeming to not remember much, for instance. How many non-conspiracy buffs remember the Phoenix Lights? Or what about everyone seeming to believe everything they hear from the government and the media?

I’m sure many of you reading this have already put these things together in your minds, and so I’m wasting your time, but I’m willing to bet many have not considered this, and aren’t very worried at all. The world is a very different place than it seems, yet if you look closely enough, you can see it for exactly what it is. Look past the face, and see the man for who he is. Look past the proposition, and see the law in action. Look past what is and seems to be, and see what really is and what will soon be.

Of course though, you won't have to worry about any of this if you choose to flee to another nation to avoid this lack of freedom...but who knows if, by the time this all goes down, if you'll be able to afford such a move, if the boarders will be open for emigration, or even if you do move, if the land you move to will decide to do the same as the US...or even if you will have been arrested by the police before you could pack up and go.

And yes I'm a little freaked out, hence my posting when I seldomly do -- I usually just read, not reply.

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 03:09 PM
well welcome to it then... as my best friend says as he gazes around his general area "so this is the future huh?,,,,, you can keep it!!"

It's not often that I advocate watching more cartoons but watch the first episode of aeon flux people and keep saying this isn't a bad thing.

OK aside from the obvious privacy issues etc lets look at the commercial issues. So you want cameras in every room of every house (yes I know that's not the issue YET...). Lets run with this... say you're developing a revolutionary patent, you follow me so far right? K so we have this revolutionary new device, now we have the weak link in the system, the watcher who makes 10.25 an hour.... THis guy could care less but westinghouse would love to beat you to market. that 10,000 in cold hard up front cash beats out any appreciation he can hope to achieve on his 401k (boom instant amazingly huge problem)

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 04:13 PM
wonder what the penalty would be for killing thier danged cameras....or giving them a shower in ketchup or mustard....

I'm really getting tired of this "but, if you have nothing to hide......"

as far as I am concerned home isn't home if there's cameras watching your every move... home is where you retreat to when you've finished dealing with society, work, ect. It's one of the few places where you can actually let your hair down and be yourself!!

they're OUR public servants!!! I say we install cameras in their offices, their homes, their limos, air force one!! and well, we can all sit and monitor their actions as much as we want. after all, if they aren't doing anything wrong..........

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