Columbia’s big CCTV expansion

Smile for Big Brother, Columbia:

 The Columbia Police Department will more than double the number of locations around the city that are equipped with surveillance cameras paid for with public money.

Chief Skip Holbrook said officers are working with Statewide Security Systems, a private company, to coordinate camera installation at 80 new sites. The company already works with the city on 70 locations equipped with 250 cameras.

The current 250 cameras are in Columbia’s entertainment districts or along major business corridors, Holbrook told City Council in a written report.

The new sites stretch across the city from eastern to western and southern to northern boundaries. Cameras are being installed in the Harbison retail district, along Broad River Road, in north Columbia, along Huger and Assembly streets, along Devine Street east of Five Points and along stretches of Two Notch and Garners Ferry roads….

The key element is that the new cameras, like the old cameras, are to be “located in places where people have no reasonable expectation of privacy.” Unlike say, in your shower at home.

Nevertheless, some will object. But you know I won’t. I love Big Brother, a fact which I hope you’ll find occasion to mention next time you’re in front of one of these devices…

7 thoughts on “Columbia’s big CCTV expansion

  1. Doug Ross

    Even as a libertarian, I don’t object to cameras in public places. The government’s rights to know anything about my personal activities end at my property like unless they have a warrant.

    As a cynic, though, I always wonder about these contracts with private companies. As has been seen time and again with red light camera companies, there are frequent payoffs made behind the scenes to politicians to win the contracts.

  2. Silence

    I don’t have a problem with the camera program either. It seems a litlte expensive, though, and I don’t know how many times the CPD has accessed the video. I wonder if it’s led to any successful prosecutions? For high-crime places like 5-points, The Vista, etc, it seems pretty reasonable.

    1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

      They have caught plenty of folks in Five Points and the Vista that I know of. I would guess Main Street, ditto. Not sure where else the cameras are now, outside of USC campus and Greene Street.

  3. Kathryn Braun Fenner

    I don’t think it’s CCTV. Just video recording without a live feed, in most, if not all cases.

      1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

        I think the circuit on CCTV is from camera to surveillance person. There’s no extra-cameral circuit here.


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