City Paper Looks at Effectiveness of Crime Cameras

by March 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm 1,443 0


How useful are MPD’s police cameras? (Photo: Darrow Montgomery, Washington City Paper.)

From the Washington City Paper, February 11: “The Watchmen: How useless are the D.C. Police Department’s crime cameras?”

No judgments here: just pointing out the article. A couple of excerpts:

The department’s 2007 annual camera report, released early in 2008, says investigators viewed images 532 times and recovered 144 useful bits of video. One camera captured images the report says became “vital evidence” leading to the arrest of a murder suspect. The department has not yet released an annual camera report for 2008–not that the year didn’t provide some camera moments worth reporting.

The department’s cameras are good for at least one very significant thing: public relations. Residents routinely demand camera installment near shady alleys and troubled side streets in the wake of crime waves. Last year, the mother of a man who’d been shot to death demanded that the mayor apologize for the city’s failure to catch the perp. If the city can pay for traffic cams, it can pay for crime cams, the woman said.

Read the article.


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