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The Latest Camera Craze

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Yahoo! reports this morning that "in a new step for crime fighting in Los Angeles, the Police Department plans to start installing surveillance cameras on city streets, beginning with Hollywood Boulevard."

Their goal, which includes ambitions to roll out 64 cameras on Hollywood, Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards (and Western Avenue), will be to deter crime and questionable activities through their "Big Brother-esque" techniques.

LAist thinks it's a really bad, creepy, freaky idea.

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Sure, the LAPD is understaffed. Sure, more cameras will allow the police department to "keep an eye" on all unwatched corners of the city. Sure, it may sound like a great idea. But then we got to thinking about those wonderful red light cameras at intersections and the court cases that came out of that stinking pile of doo-doo. You may or may not remember the variety of law-suits that came out of people being photographed in their cars with mistresses which then resulted in divorces when the photos found their way to one's home mailbox. Sure, you could say they shouldn't be cheating on their spouses, but this is where the whole camera thing gets tricky.

People shouldn't have to adjust their life activities (no matter how unsavory but legal) they may be due to the fact that the city has decided to install cameras to lessen or ease the workload. The same goes for the Police Department's most recent camera-crazy plan -- which will, sure, ease the load but never replace good old fashioned police work.

People will find a way to work around cameras, just as people have done with the red-light cams. People will move their crime to another block or be pushed into new neighborhoods. All cameras do is move crime from one area to the other and never ever reduce overall criminal acts.

So instead of taking away our civil liberties and rights to privacy in an attempt to lessen the workload, why not find other means of reducing crime before you get all Big Brother on the city of Los Angeles? Hmm? How about that?