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Security Cameras and Local Police Departments

Privacy has always been an issue with security cameras, and lately security cameras seem to be popping up everywhere. Citizens are concerned about their privacy and freedom; being scrutinized under a watchful eye is not a comfortable feeling. To intensify their worries, police are now trying to tap into the private security cameras to help obtain footage of crimes.

In San Jose, a proposal is in the works where homeowners can voluntarily register their private security cameras and be added to a database. This database of home surveillance will help the police easily locate security cameras with potential footage of a crime. Police would have to get permission to remotely access the person’s surveillance footage.

There are people against this proposal, worried that this gives police too much access and fear a Big Brother situation. They say footage will only be accessed with permission and won’t continuously be monitored, but how can people be sure that officers will abide by that? Others worry that police are monitoring footage in order to find problems rather than solving crimes. And how will this affect work ethic? Will access to these cameras result in officers relying on footage and slacking on their duties?

While these are legitimate concerns, residents should consider the benefits they can reap from it as well. Other areas have implemented similar plans and they have proven to be effective, with crime rates declining. Officials also assure that footage is not continuously monitored, instead, when a crime occurs, police will reference the map to find cameras that could possibly contain pertinent footage. Using this map is much easier and less time consuming than going door-to-door trying to track down footage. Lastly, the program is voluntary not mandatory – those against this proposal can opt out.

It’s obvious that much needs to be discussed about this proposal, as both sides have valid points. If these programs continue to be successful we may begin to see more and more areas implementing a sort of “crowdsourcing” of surveillance footage. But then again, if it were to spread,  would we be growing toward a Big Brother situation?

Topics of privacy versus security will continue to be an ongoing debate. Please share your thoughts on this topic – connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. For your security camera & equipment needs, visit our store online at or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.

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