The city of Hollywood, Florida is looking to fight crime with high tech equipment, according to NBC Miami. The city is planning to install a $1.5 million surveillance system that is expected to help cut down on traffic citations.
Although the system will be a first for Hollywood, a similar type of closed-circuit surveillance has already been in use in neighboring Miami, Florida. The initial phase of the system will place cameras and license plate readers throughout Federal Highway areas, north beach, and downtown. These areas currently experience a high concentration of 911 calls.
Many people might be concerned about the potential ramifications of a “big brother” type approach to city security. However, Detective Dan Justus says that these concerns are misplaced. “A lot of people are worried about the privacy issue,” says Justus. “Unless you’re involved in crime, you should not be worried about it. These are public places. The streets of our city, the public areas where people are committing crimes, not allowing our citizens to safely move about.”
Similar systems are used by cities around the country. In Boston, for example, surveillance videos were used to help track down the marathon bombers. Such surveillance systems have also been used for large events, such as the Superbowl, that are difficult to control with security teams alone.
The surveillance footage is not kept indefinitely. Instead, it will be preserved for 30 days and then be deleted, unless law enforcement officers find a reason to keep the video footage around. The expected cost of a total expansion, which will occur if the current surveillance rollout goes as planned, will be about $5 million.
Uri Schick, Owner of GES Security says “These types of “big brother” systems have proven themselves to reduce crime rates in the areas they are installed around the world. It amazes me that people are so concerned with privacy issues over having cleaner and safer streets.”