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It looks like traffic cameras for busy intersections are only the beginning:

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said he is so impressed with results from MacArthur Park -- once known as a flourishing crime zone in the city's center -- that he believes the cameras are an essential part of fighting crime in an era of dwindling budgets and strained police personnel.

"Basically, what you can do is virtual policing," said LAPD Assistant Chief George Gascon, who oversees department operations. "You can monitor a significant number of areas without having to have an officer at each scene."

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The LAPD is seeking new funding for "widespread surveillance" of the Valley and "other parts of the city."

Creeped out yet? While the Governor is conducting a pizza-stand tour to call people names (when he isn't chiding the likes of Warren Buffett for suggesting sensible tax policy), our community doesn't have the resources to police the city without resorting to chilling Orwellian tactics. If this stands as an excuse to throw up government surveillance cameras in every trouble spot, LAist wonders - what's next? It's up to the Council to make a decision on the future of this critical precedent.

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