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Chicago Links School Cameras To Police 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-be-watching-you dept.
Farakin brings us a story about how cameras in roughly 200 Chicago schools are being connected to police headquarters and the city's 911 emergency center. The goal of the effort is to "consolidate video surveillance," and it will involve both routine monitoring and real-time updates to officers on their way to a crisis. According the the Chicago Tribune, "The mayor acknowledged the cameras provide only limited security, citing a spate of shootings in recent days that have claimed young victims during after-school hours." The story also contains a video in which Mayor Daley indicated that he expects the cameras to serve as a deterrent now that people know they're under the eye of the police.
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Chicago Links School Cameras To Police

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  • How about taking some of the Homeland Security money and putting it into alternate crime prevention programs, instead of trying to deal with situations where kids have already been turned into criminals?
  • priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Presto Vivace (882157) <marshall@prestovivace.biz> on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:31PM (#22681908) Homepage Journal
    How many reading teachers could have been hired for the price of those cameras? This is sad, just sad.
  • Big brother (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IonHand (646698) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:33PM (#22681928)
    Where would we be if big brother wasn't here to protect us from our selves? --- a lot more free thats for sure.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:40PM (#22682032) Journal

    I think the intresting bit is at the end of the story, 50 police officers were to be hired, but budget reasons (cuts?) led to a delay of a full month before they could start training. Meanwhile a program to get cops on the beat and civilians to do the paper work was also delayed, again seemingly because of budget reasons.

    Note that it is purely MY speculation that the budget reasons were cuts, but it is hard to imagine how for instance an increase in budget would cause a delay.

    There is actually a rather neat trick that you can pull with this. I announce a new plan to hire 50 cops. Nice headline, people feel good about it. Delays are caused and the program is scaled back. Sometime later I announce that 40 cops have been hired. Nice headline, people feel good about it, 90 new cops on the beat... AHA! You spotted it eh?

    If I am really good I also silenty get rid of 60 cops and score another headline NOT with the firing but with the budget savings I have been managing. Ain't I good, can you guess how the next election will go?

    The problem is simple, you need to follow the news in depth and keep on a story and anything that might relate to it. For instance the increased budget for the DHS from which this camera system is payed, where does that money come from? Could it even be that the reason the budget office did not have the money for civilian office workers and the new cops was because the money went to the DHS instead?

    But people hate in depth reporting, note how many people here scream bloody murder when a new development in SCO is reported or shout DUPE when an article is really an update. For many people news is what is happening now, but for a crafty politician that leads to an easy way to pull the wool over everyone's eye.

  • Predictable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:41PM (#22682044) Homepage Journal
    So, slippery slopes don't exist and only tinfoil hatters believe in them? Right?

    Morons. Giving your rights and freedoms away like it was candy.
  • by Original Replica (908688) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:44PM (#22682114) Journal
    How about taking some of the Homeland Security money and putting it into alternate crime prevention programs, instead of trying to deal with situations where kids have already been turned into criminals?

    Because the kinds of people who's careers and businesses are tied police, military, and incarceration programs are very different from the kinds of people who are social workers. Guess which personality types run DHS?
  • Re:priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dunezone (899268) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:47PM (#22682140) Journal
    Teachers might not be any better. My brother yesterday was teaching a middle school class as a substitute, one of the students made a smart ass comment about the NIU attacks. My brother instead of over reacting simply told him that his statement was in bad-taste.

    The student himself is a good student, he has no issues, he just said something that is out of line. Yet my brother got yelled at for not reporting him to the office. You know what would've happened to the kid if the other teacher reported it? One stupid statement and one slip up and this kid is sent to the principle, then a counselor is brought in, then psychiatric help, and his parents are called in. For one little slip up the kid is attacked from all angles as the bad guy. Nothing is really solved and the kid learned nothing about what he said, hes just told not to say statements like that anymore.

    Back in 1995-96 I was still in grade school, one of my classmates had a pocket knife on her key chain. When our teacher saw it, she told her not to bring it back to school and to remove it. Today if that happens, a school police officer is notified, the kid is detained, and finally expelled from school for a week. So instead of a kid spending a week in class learning, the kid is at home sleeping and watching tv.

    The thing is, you cant just hire new teachers. You need to hire competent teachers to teach the children and to shape them into good people. You ask me who has had the most influence in my life and I name my dad and then teachers, coaches, and professors. Not Michael Jordan, or Rappers, or anyone like that, I name people who have directly influenced me.

    Teachers (and no, I don't mean all of them) don't look out for the better good of the student anymore, they look out for their own job. And we wonder why the education system is failing.
  • cameras (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Badbone (1159483) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:06PM (#22682340)
    The cameras arent about deterrence or consolidation. In fact, these cameras dont have to be connected to the police. All that matters is the perception they are. They are just there to get kids used to the idea of having cameras watching them, and having those cameras connected to the police.

    What once was unthinkable will become commonplace. The first few years, kids will rebel, maybe even take down a camera or two, obscure its picture, that sort of thing. Given enough time, the kids are sufficiently inured to the cameras, and they wont even see them anymore.

    Kids that dont notice cameras will grow to be adults that dont notice cameras. Thats the whole point of this exercise. Get em while their young.

  • by joebok (457904) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:06PM (#22682342) Homepage Journal
    I predict that nothing will happen to the cameras. The surveillance and the tie-in will be mutely accepted by a population conditioned and resigned to live in fear.

    Maybe I'm one of those grumpy people you mentioned...
  • by segedunum (883035) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:11PM (#22682394)
    They're not tackling the root cause of why they're having to do this. The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily. As long as the US at large is OK with accepting that kind of risk, and public anxiety quickly dies down after every shooting, then trying to half-heartedly try and film everything that people do is quite simply pointless.

    It's also no deterrent at all. We've seen from the vast majority of shootings that those involved are quite willing to shoot first, and then shoot themselves so that there are no consequences. The notion that cameras are going to be a deterrent is well wide of the mark.
  • by truthsearch (249536) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:13PM (#22682416) Homepage Journal
    He wasn't implying it's odd. He's implying it's bad.

    And it potentially is. Instead of a small set of local security officers monitoring activity, a much larger set of people, further from the scene, can watch everything. That opens up much more potential abuse and misinterpretations.
  • Indoctrination (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:27PM (#22682582)
    Once again school kids without rights are being exposed and desensitized to horrible human rights abuses they will learn to accept as "normal" when they become adults. The sickening jackbooted dehumanization of America marches on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:37PM (#22682690)
    The difference between commercial establishments and schools is, nobody gets sent to jail for not sending their kids to the store. You implicitly consent to the violation of privacy when you enter their property. However, kids are being forced to go to school -- and many of them would decline to enter the property were it not for the substantial penalties for not attending.
  • Misplaced Blame? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pavon (30274) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:46PM (#22682798)
    Why are you blaming this on the teachers when all of the problems you mentioned are the result of policies set by the school board and inflexibly enforced by the administration. A fair number of teachers do overlook the stupid rules, and even if they don't it's not their fault that the punishment for them is ridiculously out of proportion.
  • segedunum claims:

    The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily.
    <sarcasm> That's impossible, Chicago's gun laws are among the strictest in the hemisphere. Why, guns are nearly as illegal as crack, and we all know how impossible cocaine is to find in Chicago!</sarcasm>


    All handguns are effectively banned in Chicago, all weapons are registered with the city, and Cook County laws are not much less strict, same goes for Illinois state law -- Illinois has more restrictions on who may possess firearms than Canada, and all the laws in the world wouldn't have done much to prevent the NIU shooting.

    Selling firearms across state lines without going through a Federally licensed dealer is also criminalized, so it's not the fault of adjoining states with less controls. And if availability is the issue, then why wouldn't these incidents be more common in places outside of Chicago, Illinois, a city with laws that go beyond any laws Hillary or Barack would admit to dreaming of for America?

    These "weapons that allow them to kill people very easily" have been around for hundreds of years, the real question is what has changed in these kid's heads "that allow them to kill people very easily"?

    If another young adult wanted to kill 5 people, he could just as easily bring in a kitchen cleaver or a few mason jars filled with gasoline; every teen has access to these, so there's something besides availability stopping the average teen from mass murder.

  • by myrdos2 (989497) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:38PM (#22683332)
    I doubt too many people will be buying these, so... way to make yourself easy to track as you move around from camera to camera.
  • by mdwstmusik (853733) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:42PM (#22683374) Homepage
    No they are not. Most school boards are made up of people who have never stepped foot in a classroom, but somehow believe that they know more about teaching than the people who do the job every day.
  • by Nonesuch (90847) * <nonesuch@NosPAm.msg.net> on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:44PM (#22683390) Homepage Journal

    It's the guns, stupid!
    There are no (legal) handguns in Chicago.
    It's the callous disregard for human life, stupid!


    The Chicago police and video cameras don't prevent crime, they commit [cbs2chicago.com] crime. And then do it again [foxnews.com]. And again [chartsky.com].

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:54PM (#22683478)
    no, access to weapons is not the problem. I had access to weapons and ammo when I was a kid, and strangely enough I never used them on another human nor threatened anyone with them. My father and his friends used to take their weapons to school and put in their locker for hunting after school, as did my grandfathers. Total shootings by kids in those school districts over five decades: zero. total stabbings: zero.

    we have quite a few subcultures in our country with no regard for human life. we have men spawning children and not raising them. we have stars glamorizing the gangster lifestyle. we have at least half a million illegal immigrants who are also in organized crime.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:51PM (#22684178) Homepage Journal
    "I predict that nothing will happen to the cameras. The surveillance and the tie-in will be mutely accepted by a population conditioned and resigned to live in fear."

    I've heard it said before, and see it already coming true: "What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces". Kinda scary....pretty soon, no one will still be around that even remembers what it was like to NOT have cameras everywhere, and every move and purchase saved somewhere and potentially tracked.

    *SIGH*

  • No use (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WillRobinson (159226) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:13PM (#22684588) Journal
    Friend of mine said in Ohio that the crazy drug users would get the police officers to chase them on foot while their buds would steal the shotguns from their cars to sell.

    These cameras will give a false sense of security to some, and total useless to victims other than to maybe prove something after the fact. "Ya he got the S*** beat out of him for sure" or "ya he got stabbed, and we cant tell who it is in that hoodie" There is no replacement for having security where its needed, and not where its not.
  • Re:False Alarms (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Unlikely_Hero (900172) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:47PM (#22684784)
    It would get them expelled for "terroristic threats/acts" and probably for some bizarre version of obstruction of justice.
    School systems suck for the kids in them, especially public...ESPECIALLY PUBLIC...(especially Chicago)
  • by Myria (562655) on Saturday March 08, 2008 @12:15AM (#22684906)
    If you treat kids like criminals, don't be surprised when they start acting like criminals.

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