Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mayor McMahon looking to bring surveillance cameras to State Street

I have a bit of concern with a recent article that came out stating Mayor McMahon is interested in putting "video" cameras on State Street.  Let's not kid ourselves, these are full featured surveillance cameras that have a wide range of capabilities that can include license plate tracking, facial recognition, thermal/ infrared and even microphone pickups. The program for Media entails having six cameras covering most if not all of State Street.

Here is one feature illustrating a loitering capability that the cameras Media is considering has.

Surveillance is a part of life with each and everyone of us being videoed many times a day. Whehter it's grabbing a cup of coffee, paying a cashier, walking into a bank, or driving down the highway; you're on video.  Essentially, people should have no expectation of privacy in public places.

These capabilities coming to Media shouldn't be a surprise, but what really needs to be comprehensively explained is how this data will be used and who will see it.  Here are questions the community should be asking

  • What is the core objective of this project and what statistics are there currently that justify the effort.  (i.e. is there an immediate need for this technology based on prior issues?)
  • How sophiticated are these cameras and where will they be placed?
  • What's the resolution and field of vision?
  • How much of a residence will be seen for people who live on State Street?
  • Will law enforcement be able to view live feeds from patrol cars?
  •  How long will the data be held (i.e 30 days) and who verifies it's deletion?
  • Will this system to tied into Homeland Security or other federal databases?
  • Statements made say video will rarely be viewed live.  What's rarely? (one day a week? 10 minutes each hour?)
  • Will the community be given a live demonstration of the technology?
  • Will the program to be expanded to include other streets?
  • Will the system be used proactively to leverage Intelligent Video Analysis for such things as loitering and illegal parking?
  • Will public signs be posted identifying the surveillance cameras?
  • Can they be provide in N. Olive parking garage?
I believe a proposed security system like this is 'reactive' which helps solves crimes quicker, than proactive at preventing them.  Community awareness still plays an important role and should better communicated.


  1. Any news on mandatory fingerprinting, blood samples, microchipping and rectal exams upon entering the borough? Why stop at cameras, people.

    1. I agree with Steve McDonald on this one. 1984 is coming to Media. It is too much.

  2. Instead, spend the money to enforce speed limits around the town. Yes, it is not as high tech, but it's more important to residents than State St municipal cameras. How redundant would these cameras be with those commercial property owners have already put in place? How much ongoing expense for monitoring/maintaining these cameras?

  3. Where in Media can you speed? Stop signs on every corner. Cameras =skateboarder beware.

  4. I'm not down w/ survelence on State Street

  5. Put the first camera down on West Street. Kent Davidson's house has a wall of stones and a construction site that looks dangerous. Hope he has all his permits. (Oh, I forgot, he is on Council and can skirt the laws, like he did with his conflict of interest supporting the FROGS.)

  6. Absolutely not. The government is already getting in our homes, our lives enough. Knock it off. We Don't need it.

  7. Is this a way to embezzle money or something?

  8. To anonymous, whomever you are....why do you not identify yourself? You always have a lot to say, but not the courage to stand behind your statements.

    1. Quit being so holier than thou, Lorraine Smith. Whoever that is.

  9. They need the cameras at stop signs that people run constantly and on one way streets that I see people drive down the wrong way at least once a month, just on front st alone, where I live. State street doesn't need em, what for to watch people ineptly get in the trolleys way?

  10. These capabilities coming to Media shouldn't be a surprise, but what really needs to be comprehensively explained is how this data will be used and who will see it. retail security services