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LAPD Surveillance Cameras Go Unused 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the unopened-mechanized-eye dept.
First time accepted submitter Ethanol-fueled writes "Most of the surveillance cameras installed downtown and operated by the LAPD have not been working for two years, according to interviews and records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Many of those broke and were never repaired, and six cameras allocated to the Little Tokyo section weren't even plugged into the LAPD's monitoring bank. In one case, a 53-year-old man died after being stabbed and beaten in Skid Row — right below one of the malfunctioned cameras. It probably also didn't help that the cameras themselves were prone to being coated with pigeon droppings and the system backend being stored in a room so small that overheating was frequent. One LAPD Deputy Chief compared the situation to buying a used car without an extended warranty — 'We know the reasons it doesn't work. Now we're trying to make it work.'"
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LAPD Surveillance Cameras Go Unused

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  • Whats new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:19AM (#38494036)
    I'm sure all the politicians were patting each other on the back the day they installed it. And I'm sure their Security industry golf buddies got a nice contract and sent a fat kick-back.

    I don't think anyone is surprised no one actually gave a damn about it.
  • Ethanol-fueled (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:19AM (#38494040)

    First time accepted submitter Ethanol-fueled writes

    Really? I am quite sure there have been stories by him before. He's a known long-time Slashdotter, after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:28AM (#38494088)

    Indeed. Government has already made their money here. Once agan, I feel the need to point out that in the business of government -- where they spend other people's money -- there is no such thing as a loss. Even when they fail completely, they still win. Every dollar raked through the business of government increases their leverage, and their ability to exploit that cash flow for personal gain. It's no wonder that every year government costs more, both in terms of revenue and administration: that's exactly how the game is played, and that's exactly the kind of people who would desire power over others in the first place.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:47AM (#38494200)

    A city overrun... by dumbshit Mexicans.

    Now be fair. The cameras wouldn't have worked any better in a city overrun by dumbshit Niggers, Muzzies, Paddies, or Dagos either.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:49AM (#38494218) Homepage

    Bet you $100 that it was designed to fail from day 1. it was under funded, someone that has NO education at all in tech was in charge of it, and everyone involved that had a clue was ignored when they voiced their concerns.

    This is typical of ANY local government project. some idiot in finance believe he can cut corners to bring the costs down.

  • A bad thing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oakgrove (845019) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:51AM (#38494234)
    My deepest and sincerest sympathies to the family of the murdered man but are cameras really the answer? How about more cops that know their beats and actually engage people without being dicks? That may actually make a real difference.
  • Re:wear and tear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 26, 2011 @11:55AM (#38494258) Homepage

    Like when cop car cams were starting out and they were getting "broken" a lot? Yup, I remember those days in the 90's right after rodney king. the VCR in the trunk would get bashed, or the tapes would get magnetized a lot... (big honking magnet on the casing will screw it up badly)

  • by frisket (149522) <[ei.liramlis] [ta] [retep]> on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:04PM (#38494314) Homepage
    This has absolutely nothing whatever to do with "government".

    Companies are every bit as stupid as this, installing "new technology" because some dickhead at the top insisted on it, and omitted to make any provision for its continued operation. Everyone in IT knows this (see ./ articles passim).

    And let's not have any blather about "responsibility" either: companies are just as able to cover up the stupidities of their senior execs as government offices are.

    And while we're at it, let's skip the rubbish about "other people's money". Companies spend and mis-spend other people's money with impunity* every day — how the fuck do you think we got into the current recession? It sure as hell wasn't governments doing all those shady hedge fund deals with borrowed money; it was banks: those wonderful much-vaunted joint stock limited-liability business-can-do-no-wrong corporations, run by greed-raddled execs and owned by greedy or ignorant stockholders who actively or passively encouraged their activities.

    * Yes, impunity. The people responsible have been rewarded for their misdeeds, just like the cretins responsible for the government mismanagement which enabled it.

    This whole "let's just blame the government" nonsense is simply a blind cooked up by corporate shills trying to cover up their own ineptitude. The governments are equally to blame with the corporates for their foolishness and stupidity. Blaming just one of them alone isn't simply incorrect, it's dangerous.

  • whacky parse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by minkie (814488) on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:46PM (#38494684)

    I had to read the headline a couple of times before I realized it wasn't "LDAP cameras".

  • Re:Ethanol-fueled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:09PM (#38494868) Homepage Journal
    You must know my history here to be surprised. I'm admittedly surprised that my submission was accepted. In fact, I just stumbled out of bed still reeking of booze to find this, and it's apparently not a hallucination.

    But seriously, guys. Not only did I live in Los Angeles for 3 years, but I wanted to address the "theater" part of the security theater as it relates to the trend of installing municipal cameras. Criminals will realize that they're bullshit and continue to, well, be criminals. The cop(s) assigned to watching the cameras could have instead walked the beat, arrested criminals, and got real work done.
  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:10PM (#38494884)
    Cameras not working.... this is a bad thing because....?
  • by khallow (566160) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:47PM (#38495230)

    This has absolutely nothing whatever to do with "government".

    Companies are every bit as stupid as this, installing "new technology" because some dickhead at the top insisted on it, and omitted to make any provision for its continued operation. Everyone in IT knows this (see ./ articles passim).

    The only problem with your claim is that the Los Angelos Police Department is a government agency not a company (at least, yet). So observing that companies occasionally make bad decisions is irrelevant. Second, enough failure in a business and the business goes away. The LAPD will still be kicking until Los Angelos ceases to be a going concern.

    And let's not have any blather about "responsibility" either: companies are just as able to cover up the stupidities of their senior execs as government offices are.

    The obvious rebuttal is that corporate executives go to jail for the sort of stuff that governments pull routinely (such as understating or not even bothering to state future liabilities, and the ever favorite conflicts of interest).

    And while we're at it, let's skip the rubbish about "other people's money".

    What rubbish? That you don't have even a shred of a counterargument and thus, try to ban this obvious rebuttal using rhetoric alone? There's no way to say the words without making you look like an idiot, but just because OPM is a vast problem in the private world, doesn't somehow mean it isn't similarly a vast problem in the government world. At least in the private world, most OPM can be moved around.

    Further, almost every cent a government spends is obtained via involuntary taxation. While many businesses live on money they earned by voluntary trade.

    This whole "let's just blame the government" nonsense is simply a blind cooked up by corporate shills trying to cover up their own ineptitude. The governments are equally to blame with the corporates for their foolishness and stupidity. Blaming just one of them alone isn't simply incorrect, it's dangerous.

    Not for government actions. This "We're all to blame" excuse fails hard when the people who made the screwed up decisions were all in government.

    Please keep in mind for the next time you want to knee-jerk to an anti-government rant, that businesses can go bankrupt rather easily when they screw up. In the end, some people can be hurt by the bankruptcy, but it's a fairly clean way to remove the problem and return viable parts of the business back to society. It happens all the time.

    Further, what goes on in the business, generally stays in the business. Society isn't threatened because Coca Cola or GM decided to do something remarkably stupid.

    Governments can just tax more to cover for their bad decisions. Eventually, they'll tap out, but society will be far more messed up than any group of business bankruptcies could manage. Los Angelos is a great case in point. The city probably won't turn around in the next generation. I think the result will be another Detroit (as it currently exists), a failed city that lingers on while virtually everyone with any sense or wealth has fled for better places.

  • by khallow (566160) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:56PM (#38495310)
    What happens when a business loses enough money that it goes out of business? It goes out of business. What happens when a government agency loses enough money that if it were a business it'd go out of business? It keeps making mistakes and often gets rewarded with increased fund or power for making those mistakes. (Eg, the federal government through several mistakes let terrorists take down the World Trade Center towers. Laws like the Patriot Act "fix" that by giving them more money and power.)

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