In recent weeks, Lakewood has experienced a rash of thefts, burglaries, missing persons, and even an attempted abduction. The first things that law enforcement do when responding to these situations is interview witnesses if there were any, and procure footage from security cameras in the area. Access to video of a crime scene helps law enforcement solve crimes with an efficiency that is perhaps unparalleled by any other method used in their crime-busting efforts.
It is a shame that when crime occurs on the streets of Lakewood, investigators practically never have access to cameras to see exactly what happened and how. In other large cities nearly every inch of every street is being watched 24/7 by a camera somewhere. Take Brooklyn, for example. It is essentially impossible to do something on its streets without being caught on film. When a store is broken into, a home robbed, or a even a disputed accident occurs, police are able to request footage from surrounding homes and businesses to assist them in cracking the case.
There is no reason that a midsized city like Lakewood is not well-equipped to deal with crises with both real-time and prerecorded video of criminal incidents. It should not be acceptable to us that Lakewood’s police must scramble to find usable footage at times when every moment is precious and crucial to resolving an issue. When a person goes missing, it is absolutely critical for police, Hatzolah, Chaveirim, etc. to be able to see as much as they can which could help them find the individual and more quickly determine whether the case requires urgent attention and additional manpower.
What I am suggesting is that Lakewood or the State should be offering incentives to homeowners and businesses to install security cameras on their premises. It provides a layer of protection and intimidation to would-be criminals, as well as give law enforcement highly useful resources at times of need.
Video cameras would save law enforcement hundreds of hours of manpower that could be used far more economically and cost-effectively than piecing together a crime scene when a camera can do it in a matter of moments. Lakewood police response time, while already commendable, could possible be cut down further if the cops weren’t wasting so much time on figuring out issues which should be worked out with a simple look at a camera roll.
Cameras keep are streets, our neighborhoods, our homes, and our families safer. It is a crime deterrent, a crime solver, and a vital crime-fighting tool. We should all press our political leaders to pass legislation providing tax breaks to those willing to share their camera footage with law enforcement as necessary.
While I don’t know if this is practical, I do believe that regardless of incentives we should all begin installing cameras on our homes and businesses. If nothing else, it should give you a little piece of mind.
I don’t mind the idea of the township installing cameras. I just want there to oversight of who has access to the feeds.
I dont think it should be the twshp installing the cameras as #1 stated, there’d be privacy issues. I very much do agree with incentives for citizens. (Too late for me – I already installed cameras and have given the footage to the cops on more than 1 occasion)
There is a line in the proverbial sand where “cameras, cameras, everywhere” becomes less about public safety, and more about invading the lives of private citizens.
Personally, I do not like the idea of constantly being on camera.
As people, we have some responsibility for our own safety. We should be aware of our surroundings at all times, and know how to spot a potential “wrong-doer”, instead of relying on the police and security cameras to catch the perpetrator, after the fact.
I’d rather not be a victim at all.
The government encouraging citizens to spy on their fellow citizens? Where have I heard that one before? *eyeroll*
I have no problem with cameras except that taxpayer money should not be utilized. If you want cameras buy them and do not expect incentives from anyone.
There should be a private registry where those w cameras can register them so police/chaveirim/ Hatzala can access the list when needed.
I think there already is for police: http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2018/04/lakewood-police-department-launches-register-every-camera-rec-initiative.html
Not to be too picky, but technically Lakewood is a town, not a city…
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