Friday, January 27, 2006


Alderman Wants Spy Cameras at Businesses

While we're on the subject of alderboobs (a Mike Royko term), there's this:
Chicago could be on the verge of taking an even deeper plunge into the brave new world of surveillance cameras -- on the backs of businesses that have had it with costly government mandates.

Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) wants to require every licensed business that's open more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period to install and monitor a 'sufficient number' of cameras to record what goes on inside the place and in the parking lot.

The edict would even apply to the management offices of residential high-rises and the convenience stores in those buildings. The only exceptions would be washrooms and changing areas.
Ald Suarez says he just wants to make crime ridden Chicago neighborhoods safer. A laudable goal, of course. (Though the proposal could be just a fetcher.) But regardless of the motive, if the city wants surveilance cameras installed in private businesses, the city should bear the cost, as it does now for the cameras it hangs from light poles in high-crime areas.

On a related note, I wonder if the City Council would ever mandate that existing businesses link their outdoor surveilance cameras to the citywide surveilance network Mayor Daley has been working to create.


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