Surveillance Catching On In Big Way In Small Towns
Small U.S. towns such Bellows Falls, VT, Preston, Md., and Galax and Tazewell, Va., are installing surveillance cameras at a far greater per-capita ratio than large cities, though most of the media attention has been focused on urban surveillance developments.
For instance, Washington, D.C., has 19 cameras in operation, while tiny Bellows Falls just put up 16 cameras for its 181-person populace. Federal funds often support such technology even at the smallest townships.
Though privacy advocates have been concerned about this post-Sept. 11, 2001 phenomenon, Galax Police Chief Rick Clark defends cameras by arguing that, “What you do in public, you’ve got no expectation of privacy.”
In California, Pittsburg Capt. William Zbacnik says none of the 11 cameras installed in early 2005 have caught a crime on tape. However, Zbacnik notes that the total cost of a police officer is around $100,000 per year, while a camera only costs $5,000.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (01/22/06) P. A10; Fahrenthold, David A.