“We are recording images that a police officer would see if he or she were standing in the same place”
March 1, 2014
Officials in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan are working with police to put surveillance cameras in every single neighborhood.
After placing multiple cameras throughout the city’s West Willow neighborhood several years ago, township officials claim the programs vast success, which is reportedly centered around one single case, warrants an expansive rollout to every last neighborhood.
When attempting to find public support for the program, WDIV used quick editing to create the desired answer from a surveillance weary resident.
“When they put the security cameras up I kind of thought crime would decrease and it kind of has in a way…” Tony Slaughter hesitantly said before being cut off mid-sentence.
Mike Radzik, the director of the Office of Community Standards, justified the program by claiming that the cameras were no different than police officers constantly standing in the neighborhood.
“We are recording images that a police officer would see if he or she were standing in the same place,” Radzik said. “They are only in public places.”
Not only has the township seemingly decided to go forward with the program without public input, residents will be required to pay a fee for the township’s venture.
“The township will invest in the infrastructure, actually put the cameras out and deploy them and there will be a special assessment on the homes in the neighborhood for the operating expense going forward, which will be a very nominal fee for this measure of public safety,” Radzik said.
Despite a clear attempt by WDIV to portray massive public support for the incoming cameras, a quick glance at comments from residents shows quite the opposite.
“What’s next ? In our homes? Our showers? “Our minds?” Alissa Fortin said.
Although the township claims the program will cause a major dent in criminal activity, countless studies have proven that surveillance cameras do little to deter crime.
While revelations of illegal spying by local and federal governments alike continue to surface, questionable surveillance practices in public, where there is no expectation of privacy, have many wondering how far is too far.
Police in Austin, Texas are now demanding live access to surveillance cameras inside public schools, using the remote possibility of school shootings as justification.
In Modesto, California, an armored police surveillance truck was unveiled this week, which video and audio records local residents while traveling throughout the city.
The Seattle Police Department recently announced its plan to begin using a new facial recognition software program, which will analyze surveillance footage of alleged criminal activity.
While the government continues to expand its surveillance grid against the public, daily reports of citizens being violently attacked for legally filming police and elected officials fill the news feed.