Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Police chief claims cameras at red lights would help police

Police chief claims cameras at red lights would help police Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper endorsed the concept of putting enforcement cameras on traffic lights yesterday, saying automated ticketing could help the bureau 'do more with the amount of officers we have.'
The problem is, I don't want the police to do more. The goal isn't do more. The goal is safe streets.

The army general or a hawk president can give the order to invade another land to 'do more' -- and that would get to that outcome. But, why?

And if the cameras are doing the work, are the police really doing MORE? Or, are the police going to be taking time to do camera work and not police work?

The doing of more is by an outside firm that installs, operates and maintains the camera -- not the police. So, our police work is being done by others who are NOT police. Privatization of enforcement needs to be examined for what it is. This is a step away from a merger of services among city police, county police, PAT Police, Housing Police, State Police, Sheriff, University Police, and now -- traffic camera police?

No doubt, the police always want the toys and expensive utility. But, this takes us down the pathway to the police state.

The alternative, crossing guards that issue tickets. I'd rather invest in a person on the corner with radios, with communication devices, with back-up, with training, with a voice and judgement.

These cameras are put in for revenues. And, with this plan, the incomes are put only into a container. We don't need new trust funds nor do we need new commissions.

I'm not dead set against this effort. But there are a number of ways it can be improved upon.

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