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Chicago Links School Cameras To Police

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the i'll-be-watching-you dept.

Privacy 156

Farakin brings us a story about how cameras in roughly 200 Chicago schools are being connected to police headquarters and the city's 911 emergency center. The goal of the effort is to "consolidate video surveillance," and it will involve both routine monitoring and real-time updates to officers on their way to a crisis. According the the Chicago Tribune, "The mayor acknowledged the cameras provide only limited security, citing a spate of shootings in recent days that have claimed young victims during after-school hours." The story also contains a video in which Mayor Daley indicated that he expects the cameras to serve as a deterrent now that people know they're under the eye of the police.

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Big Brother knows best (5, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681858)

Remember, Big Brother is watching.

I predict nothing will come of this but a bunch of kids getting in trouble for flicking off the cameras. Or maybe someone will get creative and steal some of the cameras, now that would be awesome.

Re:Big Brother knows best (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681962)

I have no clue why you were moded off-topic... wtf?

You are right, and now that there will be fewer law enforcement officers around, and kids know where the cameras are... well, you can imagine where the crimes will happen now, right? Anywhere but in front of the cameras.

Can I patent the business process used for this decision?
step one - unholster gun
step two - ensure that it is loaded
step three - aim at your own foot
step four - hold a press conference to announce your new plan
step five - shoot your foot ...
step six - make tougher anticrime measures^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H profit

Re:Big Brother knows best (2, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682068)

There's been some funny modding lately. I think there's some grumpy people with no sense of humour hanging around.

And yes, I dare say that some clever kids will have the fields of view of all the cameras mapped out within the week. Or someone will bring in a paintball gun. Or any other of the various and sundry methods capable of disarming cameras.

Either that, or they'll grab their nightvision goggles, their vests with the cellphone rig on the back, the fatigues, and just wait around for Jack Thompson to show up to blame the video game...

Re:Big Brother knows best (5, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682130)

Or they could wear one of these [slashgear.com] , thanks for reminding me of it.

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682214)

Nice link, but I was thinking something more along these lines [ubi.com] ;-p

Re:Big Brother knows best (2, Insightful)

myrdos2 (989497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683332)

I doubt too many people will be buying these, so... way to make yourself easy to track as you move around from camera to camera.

Re:Big Brother knows best (4, Insightful)

joebok (457904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682342)

I predict that nothing will happen to the cameras. The surveillance and the tie-in will be mutely accepted by a population conditioned and resigned to live in fear.

Maybe I'm one of those grumpy people you mentioned...

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682656)

No, everyone will feel so much safer and welcome the cameras...

Or something like that.

Re:Big Brother knows best (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684178)

"I predict that nothing will happen to the cameras. The surveillance and the tie-in will be mutely accepted by a population conditioned and resigned to live in fear."

I've heard it said before, and see it already coming true: "What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces". Kinda scary....pretty soon, no one will still be around that even remembers what it was like to NOT have cameras everywhere, and every move and purchase saved somewhere and potentially tracked.

*SIGH*

Re:Big Brother knows best (0)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681974)

Yeah, stick it to the Man. *ahem*

Re:Big Brother knows best (1, Flamebait)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682142)

Let's see: public schools (which are paid for by the government) are installing lots of cameras to monitor people (an increasingly popular trend among governments) and then linking up their video feeds with government agents who might or might not need access to those video feeds.

This seems perfectly logical to me... what part of it strikes you as odd?

Re:Big Brother knows best (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682416)

He wasn't implying it's odd. He's implying it's bad.

And it potentially is. Instead of a small set of local security officers monitoring activity, a much larger set of people, further from the scene, can watch everything. That opens up much more potential abuse and misinterpretations.

Re:Big Brother knows best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682230)

Off topic? I'm pretty sure the parent's silly comment is perfectly on topic for such a ridiculous story. Police surveillance of children in school (or of anyone, anywhere) is so outrageous that the OP could have simply said "FUCK THEM" and deserved a +5, Insightful.

At any rate, go ahead and waste those mod points. However, it would benefit everyone more if you instead took the time to learn about the moderation system and how to use it properly. I'll start holding my breath... right n-

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

Traze (1167415) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682298)

You know, I just can't wait until they hook up some non-lethal system (like the light gun that makes you puke, or the sound gun that makes you crap your pants)to these cameras, and the next step is to get some of those mind-reading devices. Start using them at the first signs of trouble. Safety come first! /sarcasm

Re:Big Brother knows best (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682308)

Schools for NIGGERS, no doubt... And Mexcrement. MS-13, et al.

This is the hellish future of America with less and less WHITE people: another version of Haiti.

Anybody care to tell me why not, rather than just screaming "Racist" "Racist" "Racist" all day?

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

zgregoryg (1061612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682694)

Why steal the camera? An easier method is a good paintball gun, a couple of shots and viola! What feed?

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683754)

How is this going to help? Don't the shooters usually kill themselfs before the police get them anyways?
Do these people even think anymore?

Though I supose the argument of "think of the children" applies.

Re:Big Brother knows best (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683966)

It makes no sense at all. You know what the most heavily surveiled places in America are? Prisons. Prisons are full of violent crime - cameras simply don't work.

Treating the symptoms. (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681866)

How about taking some of the Homeland Security money and putting it into alternate crime prevention programs, instead of trying to deal with situations where kids have already been turned into criminals?

Re:Treating the symptoms. (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682114)

How about taking some of the Homeland Security money and putting it into alternate crime prevention programs, instead of trying to deal with situations where kids have already been turned into criminals?

Because the kinds of people who's careers and businesses are tied police, military, and incarceration programs are very different from the kinds of people who are social workers. Guess which personality types run DHS?

Re:Treating the symptoms. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682208)

God forbid they try to focus the oneyu on better education. That would reduce crimes! And the bean counters in Police departments don't want that.

Without a Clause, Big Brother without a cause. (3, Interesting)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681882)

There needs to be a cause and effect for a government to justify this. In other words, this makes sense to fight crime in schools as these are inner city schools we're talking about but do we really expect inner city schools to be as bad as they are forever? There should be a clause advocating the removal of the cameras if the situation has improved for a long duration of time (say 2 years?). Otherwise it really does start a 1984 society and that's not good.

Re:Without a Clause, Big Brother without a cause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682096)

There should be a clause advocating the removal of the cameras if the situation has improved for a long duration of time (say 2 years?).

So - if they work, they should stop using them?

Re:Without a Clause, Big Brother without a cause. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682128)

There should be a clause advocating the removal of the cameras if the situation has improved for a long duration of time (say 2 years?).

But the removal of the cameras will make crime return! (sadly that'll make more sense on the news)

Crime doesn't go away with cameras, it just moves to a location where it can't be seen by them (if the perpetrators even bother). Down here we've had several cities experiment with surveillance cameras in busy areas (shopping districts, market places). A study concluded that the crime hotspots had moved to locations near the shopping districts (eg people going to and from location) where there were no cameras.

Crimerates had gone down in those cities, but not significantly enough to say that the cameras and the cost of all the infrastructure and personnel were warranted. Taking into account that the crimerates at the time had dropped on a national level, due to a better economy (higher employment, etc, etc balh blah blah) the study concluded that it was most likely that the cameras had zero effect.

The study was briefly mentioned in parliament, but swept aside for more important matters such as the next years budget of which they had to pay cameras and personnel, which of course sounded like a sound investment considering how the crimerates had somewhat dropped. (I sometimes cringe at the thought of how politicians minds work) I personally feel that my country isn't turning into a police state just yet as the cameras are actually placed in areas that used to have high crime rates and there is a very large amount of privacy laws preventing them from invading your personal space, however I seriously doubt their effectiveness at eliminating crime as opposed to their effectiveness in moving it to other places.

Re:Without a Clause, Big Brother without a cause. (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682528)

Why pay to disassemble the camera network and then possibly pay to erect it again if things go bad, when everyone is used to them anyway.

Re:Without a Clause, Big Brother without a cause. (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683388)

In a couple years people will be used to them and those cameras will effectively been invisible. So, why remove them? Slippery slope.

You're also assuming that these cameras will actually do something. Are you sure that's a good assumption? Because this sort of non-logic has been debunked over and over and...

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681898)

Feel safe now?

It will get worse because sheeple are morons!

priorities (5, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681908)

How many reading teachers could have been hired for the price of those cameras? This is sad, just sad.

Re:priorities (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681960)

1...maybe 2.....

Honestly.... 40,000 salary plus some benefits.

Cameras are cheap.

Re:priorities (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682162)

Some cameras might be cheap, but not these. From the article:

The city is using $418,000 in federal Homeland Security funding to make the new connections.

Re:priorities (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682432)

That's cheap for an entire school district. That's one teacher's salary for a decade.

Re:priorities (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682786)

Cheap? What's the cost of crime? Would you rather spend the money on:

(1) Community improvement programs designed to keep at-risk youths out of trouble and help further their education and work skills.

(2) Hiring and paying teachers.

(3) Improving the quality of learning aids in classrooms.

(4) Cleaning up the mess caused by violent crime perpetrated by youths.

Which of these options is the most expensive in terms of (a) real dollars (including the costs associated with apprehending and incarcerating offenders), and (b) cost to society with respect to fear and loss of loved ones? Your call.

Re:priorities (4, Insightful)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682140)

Teachers might not be any better. My brother yesterday was teaching a middle school class as a substitute, one of the students made a smart ass comment about the NIU attacks. My brother instead of over reacting simply told him that his statement was in bad-taste.

The student himself is a good student, he has no issues, he just said something that is out of line. Yet my brother got yelled at for not reporting him to the office. You know what would've happened to the kid if the other teacher reported it? One stupid statement and one slip up and this kid is sent to the principle, then a counselor is brought in, then psychiatric help, and his parents are called in. For one little slip up the kid is attacked from all angles as the bad guy. Nothing is really solved and the kid learned nothing about what he said, hes just told not to say statements like that anymore.

Back in 1995-96 I was still in grade school, one of my classmates had a pocket knife on her key chain. When our teacher saw it, she told her not to bring it back to school and to remove it. Today if that happens, a school police officer is notified, the kid is detained, and finally expelled from school for a week. So instead of a kid spending a week in class learning, the kid is at home sleeping and watching tv.

The thing is, you cant just hire new teachers. You need to hire competent teachers to teach the children and to shape them into good people. You ask me who has had the most influence in my life and I name my dad and then teachers, coaches, and professors. Not Michael Jordan, or Rappers, or anyone like that, I name people who have directly influenced me.

Teachers (and no, I don't mean all of them) don't look out for the better good of the student anymore, they look out for their own job. And we wonder why the education system is failing.

Misplaced Blame? (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682798)

Why are you blaming this on the teachers when all of the problems you mentioned are the result of policies set by the school board and inflexibly enforced by the administration. A fair number of teachers do overlook the stupid rules, and even if they don't it's not their fault that the punishment for them is ridiculously out of proportion.

Re:Misplaced Blame? (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683268)

Most school boards are comprised of individuals who were once former teachers and might still be teachers.

Re:Misplaced Blame? (3, Insightful)

mdwstmusik (853733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683374)

No they are not. Most school boards are made up of people who have never stepped foot in a classroom, but somehow believe that they know more about teaching than the people who do the job every day.

Re:Misplaced Blame? (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683796)

[Citation Needed]

Re:Misplaced Blame? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683642)

Maybe in your area. But in the four school boards I have dealt with over the years only one person was a former teacher, and current teachers and administrators were prohibited from sitting on the board as it was a conflict of interest. The boards were mostly comprised of folks that were also on the boards of home-owners associations or various "Think of the Children" activist groups.

Re:priorities (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682252)

I for one do NOT welcome our overlords... Three Liberty.... frequent watering required.....

Sickening (1)

Nezumiiro (1141191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681926)

I'm glad I got out of high school just before they started all this crap in the name of safety. I can just imagine a cop sitting at the monitors panning the camera as teenage ass passes by.

Re:Sickening (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682074)

I can just imagine a cop sitting at the monitors panning the camera as teenage ass passes by.

Now it's the security guard behind the front desk of the big office building where you work.

Not much difference, really.

Re:Sickening (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682158)

They put some cameras in the boy's room
(Yes indeed, they)
Put some cameras in the boy's room
They say that they're just to enforce the rules,
Everybody knows that smokin ain't allowed in school.

Big brother (2, Insightful)

IonHand (646698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681928)

Where would we be if big brother wasn't here to protect us from our selves? --- a lot more free thats for sure.

previous art (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681952)

The system of putting cameras everywhere so people will know they're being watched is working so well in England.

Didn't they miss something? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682002)

TFA doesn't once mention recording. Wouldn't that mean that the video isn't admissable as evidence and thus, unless the crime's still being perpetrated when the police get there, useless for most situations?

paranoia (2)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682010)

For all the paranoid privacy freaks instead of the realistic people, do you really think the cops are going to just sit there and watch high schoolers walk by from miles away? Like they have time. They do seem to imply that the cops can view it from their car on the way to the place if a crime takes place. If that's the case, yeah they could just sit there while taking radar and tune into it. But then just make it only be able to be be accessed when it's "unlocked" from the HQ. Tada, problem solved.

Re:paranoia (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682306)

I've seen a few simillar systems in nearby municipalities and they most certianly do have someone watching the monitors 24/7. It's even a service from the local security companies to have your home cameras added to the monitor bank. I'm pretty sure they'll do the same thing here, if only to make people feel their tax dollars are at work. It doesnt seem reasonable to expend the resources to put in a surveillance system only to not look at it.
Since you're redesigning the system so that it only functions with approval from HQ, could you also set it up to blur the features of students who's parents haven't filled out the appropriate release forms? I'm think a lot of parents, given the choice, wouldn't want their children getting that sort of extra attention in school.

Group punishment? (4, Interesting)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682012)

Isn't adding surveillance to monitor a group a punishment of said group? One student flips out and goes on a killing spree, therefore all other students need to be monitored from now on -- that seems like a treatment, not a cure, for the problem.

Re:Group punishment? (2, Interesting)

tgacid (1129301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682348)

On one hand, it could be seen as a punishment against a group, but how much of a punishment is it to have a security camera installed to monitor your own safety? I know my school installed outward-facing security cameras after some deadly violence not to actively go after any troublemakers on the grounds, but to have the option to reconstruct any scenes/entries of people entering the building in case anything did happen.

Re:Group punishment? (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682364)

Isn't adding surveillance to monitor a group a punishment of said group? One student flips out and goes on a killing spree, therefore all other students need to be monitored from now on -- that seems like a treatment, not a cure, for the problem.

You know a great excuse for this? To slow/stop teacher/student sex. Go to fark just about any day of the week and you'll see some teacher or sub being arrested for having sex with student. The school can say, yes we screen all personnel for sex offenders so that they aren't hired, but we are even more proactive. We are taking the precaution of recording all of the campus in order to prevent any teacher/student or student/student sex acts or personal contact on the school campus.

Since this is the age of zero tolerance, we are going to record on file charges for everything that might be a crime on campus. You're new student and teacher ID cards will have RFID to assist us in monitoring you. Any parent or other person that comes on campus without an office pass will get criminal trespassing charges filed on them and a ban from this place filed on them for good measure with the local police. So now we will issue parents those nice RFID school IDs so they'll be ID/tracked while on/near campus.

Our next school rule is complaining about school policies or rules is now a punishable offense. The next new school rule is trying to get any school policy or rule changed is a punishable offense.

Re:Group punishment? (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682474)

Correct. The cure is to have people who can fight back. Teachers with guns, anyone? Also, look up 'empty holster protest'.

Re:Group punishment? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682532)

One student flips out and goes on a killing spree, therefore all other students need to be monitored from now on -- that seems like a treatment, not a cure, for the problem.
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it's not about one student flipping out.

There are many public schools that are happy places of learning and there are also public schools that require students to wear clear/mesh backpacks, have metal detectors at the front door & have bullet proof glass for teacher's offices.

If surveillance pushes "bad" student acts outside the school, it has served its purpose. Think of it as a preventative measure.

Re:Group punishment? (2, Interesting)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683002)

Are you trying to sound deluded? If you think violence is something that can be cured, you need historical perspective [wikipedia.org] and common sense. Consider how many school shootings have taken place in the last 50 years. [wikipedia.org]

"One student flips out and goes on a killing spree, therefore all other students need to be monitored from now on"...
One student? What would you say for if you were the parent of a child who was killed by a student who just "flipped out"?

Re:Group punishment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22684174)

One student? What would you say for if you were the parent of a child who was killed by a student who just "flipped out"?

I'd curse him at his funeral for not drawing his handgun fast enough. I mean, I paid for his firearm safety course, taught him defensive handgun skills, moral responsibility, and sent him to a shooting academy! We then went to the range and bought him the perfect handgun for him, then retained a battery (Gaggle? Flock?) of lawyers for standby.

Posting anon for obvious reasons.

Well (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682028)


I'm more concerned with the idiots that allowed this to happen in their school districts.

"Want to put up security cameras on our property? SURE!"

I think the intresting bit is at the end of the st (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682032)

I think the intresting bit is at the end of the story, 50 police officers were to be hired, but budget reasons (cuts?) led to a delay of a full month before they could start training. Meanwhile a program to get cops on the beat and civilians to do the paper work was also delayed, again seemingly because of budget reasons.

Note that it is purely MY speculation that the budget reasons were cuts, but it is hard to imagine how for instance an increase in budget would cause a delay.

There is actually a rather neat trick that you can pull with this. I announce a new plan to hire 50 cops. Nice headline, people feel good about it. Delays are caused and the program is scaled back. Sometime later I announce that 40 cops have been hired. Nice headline, people feel good about it, 90 new cops on the beat... AHA! You spotted it eh?

If I am really good I also silenty get rid of 60 cops and score another headline NOT with the firing but with the budget savings I have been managing. Ain't I good, can you guess how the next election will go?

The problem is simple, you need to follow the news in depth and keep on a story and anything that might relate to it. For instance the increased budget for the DHS from which this camera system is payed, where does that money come from? Could it even be that the reason the budget office did not have the money for civilian office workers and the new cops was because the money went to the DHS instead?

But people hate in depth reporting, note how many people here scream bloody murder when a new development in SCO is reported or shout DUPE when an article is really an update. For many people news is what is happening now, but for a crafty politician that leads to an easy way to pull the wool over everyone's eye.

Re:I think the intresting bit is at the end of the (1)

seriv (698799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682628)

The real tragedy is that the alderman in high crime areas latch onto the cameras and want them everywhere, despite the fact it reduces the funding to put cops on patrol there, which unlike the cameras, actually reduces crime. In this case, it sounds like they are at least reducing the cost of a rather pointless venture. As far as I am aware, the cameras have led to no arrests.

Re:I think the intresting bit is at the end of the (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682988)

If I am really good I also silenty get rid of 60 cops and score another headline NOT with the firing but with the budget savings I have been managing. Ain't I good, can you guess how the next election will go?
Interesting, except that police layoffs are extremely rare and the police ALWAYS fight in court and make a big public scene. There is no way a mayor or city council can hide a police layoff.

Predictable (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682044)

So, slippery slopes don't exist and only tinfoil hatters believe in them? Right?

Morons. Giving your rights and freedoms away like it was candy.

Re:Predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683862)

I think if you spent a few minutes inside one of those places you'd be begging for the cameras to be turned on.

Re:Predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683964)

No, they're giving YOUR rights away like they're candy. Moron!

False Alarms (2, Interesting)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682172)

Would a group of students wasting the police's resources by staging some convincing (and likely quite humorous) staged incidents indicate to people who little protection camera systems like these would provide? Or, perhaps a female student who may be prematurely displaying the signs of puberty could be the focus of the same camera everyday due to her class schedule? These sort of things are prone to more abuse than they are to help, and I can guarantee that I'd have cracked up some particularly hilarious pranks to pull on a school camera system, if one were present at my high school.

Our school district did something similar (3, Informative)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682176)

The school district added cameras and DVR's a few years ago and recently added the ability for the police to tap into the system in the case of a 911 call or triggered burglar alarm. From what the school district said at meetings, it sounds like the police cannot legally tap into the signal at will, only when there is an emergency call initiated. That doesn't mean the police won't peek (we have some questionable police officers in town) but I think they have better things to do with their time.

Getting beyond the school shootings scenario, the biggest problem at schools in our area is vandalism. Students sneak into the building, trash classrooms, equipment, the athletic field, etc. Now the DVR will record them, and if the alarm is triggered the police view the video feed to learn where they are in the school, how many there are, and if they are armed.

Re:Our school district did something similar (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682946)

Getting beyond the school shootings scenario, the biggest problem at schools in our area is vandalism. Students sneak into the building, trash classrooms, equipment, the athletic field, etc. Now the DVR will record them, and if the alarm is triggered the police view the video feed to learn where they are in the school, how many there are, and if they are armed.
This is a good point. The school I went to has had a handfull of breakins, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of theft and damage. They have never caught any of the people involved. Part of that is probably just laziness on the part of the police, but still cameras would have been very nice there.

At the same time I would absolutely refuse to allow any school that my kids were attending to treat them like prisoners - I do not want our children to grow up thinking that Big Brother tactics are normal and acceptable.

Frankly, I don't see any need for a live system - the police aren't going to respond fast enough for it to matter anyway. A tape recording is good enough, and the schools should be strictly prohibited from operating it during the day, including making the tapes inadmissible for evidence in court or for school punishment.

Re:Our school district did something similar (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683464)

Well, there's the DVR "solution." Or the cheaper actual solution of getting better locks. Hard to trash a room if you can't get in.

Added value (1)

artichokesquid (1252062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682190)

Mayor Daley indicated that he expects the cameras to serve as a deterrent now that people know they're under the eye of the police.
Considering the share of school shooters that end their lives after committing their killing spree, I doubt video cameras matter much. In fact, it's probably a plus. All the glory of multiple camera angles.

Security cameras should be outlawed altogether! (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682326)

Damn those convenience stores, supermarkets, gas stations, banks, schools, etc., for invading my privacy just so they can catch a few crooks. I mean, it's not like I'm on their property or anything.

Re:Security cameras should be outlawed altogether! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682690)

The difference between commercial establishments and schools is, nobody gets sent to jail for not sending their kids to the store. You implicitly consent to the violation of privacy when you enter their property. However, kids are being forced to go to school -- and many of them would decline to enter the property were it not for the substantial penalties for not attending.

Re:Security cameras should be outlawed altogether! (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682990)

You don't have to shop at that store. You do have to go to that school, though.

Thought Crime (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682328)

If they put us all in prison now, there would be no crime! No expensive cameras to install, lucritive contracts to the prison industry. I don't see a downside!

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22683732)

Damn straight! And if you put all males in prison, the rape rates would go way down too! (Except for in the prisons.) After all, if you already have the necessary equipment, you're probably going to commit the crime, right?

Pictures are legal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682338)

As long as the people the camera is pointed at are not naked and in some area where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, it is legal to take pictures of them. However, if they are also recording audio, then they are violating federal wiretap statutes (Section 2511 (1) (b)), and in Oregon, they would be violating ORS 165.540(1)(c). Why do I know this? Because I have discovered my child's school bus (Mid Columbia Bus Company in Forest Grove, Oregon) is recording video and audio of her without my knowledge and consent. In other words, we need to work on getting big brother to obey the laws that are already on the books before we push for new laws to give us more privacy rights!

cameras (5, Insightful)

Badbone (1159483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682340)

The cameras arent about deterrence or consolidation. In fact, these cameras dont have to be connected to the police. All that matters is the perception they are. They are just there to get kids used to the idea of having cameras watching them, and having those cameras connected to the police.

What once was unthinkable will become commonplace. The first few years, kids will rebel, maybe even take down a camera or two, obscure its picture, that sort of thing. Given enough time, the kids are sufficiently inured to the cameras, and they wont even see them anymore.

Kids that dont notice cameras will grow to be adults that dont notice cameras. Thats the whole point of this exercise. Get em while their young.

Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (3, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682394)

They're not tackling the root cause of why they're having to do this. The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily. As long as the US at large is OK with accepting that kind of risk, and public anxiety quickly dies down after every shooting, then trying to half-heartedly try and film everything that people do is quite simply pointless.

It's also no deterrent at all. We've seen from the vast majority of shootings that those involved are quite willing to shoot first, and then shoot themselves so that there are no consequences. The notion that cameras are going to be a deterrent is well wide of the mark.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682450)

The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily.

You're absolutely right! All they need to do is go down to the nearest military recruiting station, and those friendly people will put a rifle in their hands absolutely free of charge! Here's a thought: if the government itself weren't so quick to use killing people as a solution to their problems, then perhaps some of the citizens wouldn't be so quick to see killing people as a solution to their problems...

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683070)

"The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily."

ALL kids have access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily. This is not only in the US, but in every country in the world. Don't fall for the "guns are evil" line. Don't underestimate the amount of damage that can be done with a glass jug of gasoline combined with a bicycle lock, or a car. Removing access to weapons is simply not physically possible.

While I do disagree with your reasoning. I agree with your conclusion.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683442)

ALL kids have access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily. This is not only in the US, but in every country in the world. Don't fall for the "guns are evil" line. Don't underestimate the amount of damage that can be done with a glass jug of gasoline combined with a bicycle lock, or a car.
Ahhhh, this is the classic delusion that comes out every time when the issue of guns is discussed. Which is easier? Shooting people from a hundred yards whilst being able to make a swift get away, or having to walk into a crowd of people with a knife and attempting to stab and kill everyone?

It's amazing that this piece of logic has to be repeated every time. How many mass stabbings and mass petrol bomb killings have there been in the US versus mass shootings in schools? Why do you think that a gun, and quite powerful guns that kill over large distances, have been the weapons of choice for these people? Because it's far, far, far easier to give lots of people fatal injuries than any other weapon, and get away in the process.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (3, Insightful)

Nonesuch (90847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683228)

segedunum claims:

The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily.
<sarcasm> That's impossible, Chicago's gun laws are among the strictest in the hemisphere. Why, guns are nearly as illegal as crack, and we all know how impossible cocaine is to find in Chicago!</sarcasm>


All handguns are effectively banned in Chicago, all weapons are registered with the city, and Cook County laws are not much less strict, same goes for Illinois state law -- Illinois has more restrictions on who may possess firearms than Canada, and all the laws in the world wouldn't have done much to prevent the NIU shooting.

Selling firearms across state lines without going through a Federally licensed dealer is also criminalized, so it's not the fault of adjoining states with less controls. And if availability is the issue, then why wouldn't these incidents be more common in places outside of Chicago, Illinois, a city with laws that go beyond any laws Hillary or Barack would admit to dreaming of for America?

These "weapons that allow them to kill people very easily" have been around for hundreds of years, the real question is what has changed in these kid's heads "that allow them to kill people very easily"?

If another young adult wanted to kill 5 people, he could just as easily bring in a kitchen cleaver or a few mason jars filled with gasoline; every teen has access to these, so there's something besides availability stopping the average teen from mass murder.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683524)

Selling firearms across state lines without going through a Federally licensed dealer is also criminalized, so it's not the fault of adjoining states with less controls.
It's trivially easy to do, and get away with. You can't prevent absolutely everything from crossing state lines unless you have stop and search checkpoints.

If another young adult wanted to kill 5 people, he could just as easily bring in a kitchen cleaver or a few mason jars filled with gasoline; every teen has access to these, so there's something besides availability stopping the average teen from mass murder.
Sorry, but I don't see many mass meat cleaverings and mass petrol bombings as the murder methods of choice. This is the classic logical fallacy defence that comes out whenever guns are mentioned. You can kill many, many people from extreme ranges that you simply can't with any other weapon, and it also allows you to make a get away. No one would consider committing such crimes with anything other than a gun.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (2, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683478)

no, access to weapons is not the problem. I had access to weapons and ammo when I was a kid, and strangely enough I never used them on another human nor threatened anyone with them. My father and his friends used to take their weapons to school and put in their locker for hunting after school, as did my grandfathers. Total shootings by kids in those school districts over five decades: zero. total stabbings: zero.

we have quite a few subcultures in our country with no regard for human life. we have men spawning children and not raising them. we have stars glamorizing the gangster lifestyle. we have at least half a million illegal immigrants who are also in organized crime.

Re:Close Stable Door After Horses Are Off and Away (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684160)

They're not tackling the root cause of why they're having to do this. The fact is that an awful lot of kids in school in the US can get very easy access to weapons that allow them to kill people very easily. As long as the US at large is OK with accepting that kind of risk, and public anxiety quickly dies down after every shooting, then trying to half-heartedly try and film everything that people do is quite simply pointless.

Lack of surveillance is not the problem.
Availability of weapons is not the problem.
The fact that society drives intelligent people insane is the problem.

You could put a camera on every street corner and in every room in every public building, and you could destroy every firearm in the country. It wouldn't stop this. The sooner that everyone gets that through their skulls and starts trying to figure out what's driving these people nuts in the first place, the better.

+1 Panopticon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682418)

See this spy cam overlords, this is me flicking you off behind the internet.

Only 200 cameras? (2, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682500)

In the UK we call that small a number of cameras "freedom".

I wonder what the teachers think? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682502)

I can't wait for some TEACHER to get busted doing something inappropriate on camera and then the teachers union will demand these camera's be removed as an invasion of the teacher privacy.

Or perhaps the parents will demand access to the feeds so they can monitor their own kids, and open a whole new can of worms. Once the technology is in place, its only natural that the parents should take an interest in monitoring their own kids education. What good parent wouldn't? And I'm sure all sorts of unexpected 'interesting' things would come out of the woodwork... sexual harrassment incidents, inappropriate teacher behaviour, bullying,... all sorts of stuff the kids almost never come forward with on display in plain sight for the parents... what a riot that would be.

Re:I wonder what the teachers think? (2, Interesting)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682706)

It unfortunately could work the other way. There is a friend of mine in jail for 20 years as a child molester for a crime he didn't commit. He was a teacher, and if there had been cameras at that time he would have been exonerated.
All it would take would be a couple of those, or proof of the students harassing the teachers to cement their usage.

The big problem here is getting the population to expect this depredation of their liberties by starting with kids. When those kids grow up they'll think it's normal for Big Brother to be watching them 24/7.

Homeland Security is paying for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682540)

WTF sense does that make?
 
  The city is using $418,000 in federal Homeland Security funding to make the new connections.

Indoctrination (4, Insightful)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682582)

Once again school kids without rights are being exposed and desensitized to horrible human rights abuses they will learn to accept as "normal" when they become adults. The sickening jackbooted dehumanization of America marches on.

details on implementation? (1)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682650)

Anyone have any details on how they're implementing this? I'd love to know what servers they're using, the details on the networking required for the feeds, the way they structure the observation room (one person can only effectively watch a certain number of feeds, I've heard 60ish from one vendor, i think it's higher but not much).

D

fruist pso7? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682782)

of the warring Of the GNAA I leEast of which is

Shootings in a gun free zone in city banning guns? (1)

hol (89786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682806)

Tell me, this cannot be!

We certainly need more surveillance for the bereaved to watch their loved one's last moments. Too bad that over 90% of surveillance in the most CCTV happy state can't be used to tell anything more than that something bad happened when the police are reminded.

We need a DNA database of everybody. That way you can be proven innocent!

Good! (1)

$criptah (467422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683060)

Let's face it: American system is so fucked up beyond belief that we must have cameras in schools. Don't like it? Find a private school for your ankle biter and STFU. I remember studying in Soviet Russia where kids fell into two categories: The ones who kicked ass (literally) and the ones who got the sorry end of that stick (but only for a short period of time). Eventually, things worked out pretty well because bullies always got what they deserved and normal kids learned how to stand up for themselves (or change schools). If there was an annoying kid calling your mother a whore, you could get up during the class, punch the a-hole in the mouth and go back to your desk. Of course, you'd see the principal later on, but overall things were okay. Once you kicked some ass, people would typically not touch you at all. Kids who had notoriously bad habits learned to keep their mouths shut quite fast. Is this my idea of a perfect school? Of course not. Is it better than what we have in the U.S.? I think so. The problem that we have here is that kids are never given any opportunity to stand up for themselves. If a bully is picking on you, you can't just kick the kid in the balls and flush his face down the toilet w/o facing some serious charges. In Soviet Russia, you could simply say "Look, he shook up my younger brother for lunch money and I stepped in." Most of the principals would tell you not to do it again and let you go, especially if you were a good student who did a right thing. Not in the U.S. There are fucking rules that you must obey and even if you did a wrong thing for a right reason, you'll pay. And so we breed pussies until the point where some clown decides to bring a nine to school and spray some bullets to show people who is who. Spent $500 at Wal-Mart and you're a fucking Rambo! What should we do about it? Should we let school shootings happen here and there and accept some collateral damage? Should we finally scratch the whole system and start from scratch? I don't advertise violence by any means, but as I can see it now we either have to get cameras or let our kids be kids and accept politically incorrect statements and random acts of minor violence. If more kids can stand up for themselves in a case-by-case basis, nobody would get so freaking pissed of a turn into an A-bomb.

Lets change one sentence a bit for fun. (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683214)

Farakin brings us a story about how cameras in roughly 200 Chicago schools are being connected directly to the parents of the children by the intelligent sensing of their implanted RDIF tags. The goal of the effort is to "consolidate video surveillance," and it will involve both routine monitoring and real-time updates to parents on their way to a crisis. Especially for the children who have had a history of trouble.

Gun laws (1)

Lewrker (749844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683238)

I know it sounds crazy in the land of the free, but how about not selling guns to anyone who doesn't REALLY need them ?
  And don't give me the bs that they would find a way to get the gun anyway. If school shooters knew how to get contraband they'd get drugs and would be chilling out watching dogs wearing hats on wide-angle camera instead of shooting people.

Re:Gun laws (1)

Nonesuch (90847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683336)

I know it sounds crazy in the land of the free, but how about not selling guns to anyone who doesn't REALLY need them? And don't give me the bs that they would find a way to get the gun anyway. If school shooters knew how to get contraband they'd get drugs and would be chilling out watching dogs wearing hats on wide-angle camera instead of shooting people.
Um... guns are contraband, in Chicago.

And no, they can't just drive to Indiana -- transacting handguns across state lines, without going through an in-state dealer, is a Federal crime (also applies to most long gun transfers). Federal law also bars purchase of a handgun by anybody under 21, or long arm under 18.

Illinois already has extremely strict firearms controls (no carry permit, special ID card required to possess firearm or ammo, waiting perids on all firearms); Cook County (Chicago and suburbs) is stricter still (magazine capacity bans, ban on "ugly black rifles"), and Chicago's law is basically what you suggest -- only cops, the city council, and other criminals have handguns in Chicago.

None of this has made Chicago schools any safer.

You'd better believe that anybody attending a Chicago Public School knows "how to get contraband". I really doubt school shooters go on rampages because they weren't able to score pot to mellow themselves out.

Calling Captain Obvious (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683254)

And when the cameras don't stop shootings, what next? RFID tags? GPS trackers?

It's the guns, stupid!

Re:Calling Captain Obvious (4, Insightful)

Nonesuch (90847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683390)

It's the guns, stupid!
There are no (legal) handguns in Chicago.
It's the callous disregard for human life, stupid!


The Chicago police and video cameras don't prevent crime, they commit [cbs2chicago.com] crime. And then do it again [foxnews.com] . And again [chartsky.com] .

Chicago to Expand Network with School Cameras (1)

rshah (29912) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683804)

Chicago is going to link 4,500 school cameras to police districts, squad cars, and the 911 emergency center. This Sun-Times notes that the existing network includes more than 10,000 public and private cameras. So this means, the 911 center will be capable of monitoring 15,000 cameras. The half million dollar upgrade will be paid for with Homeland Security funds.

School cameras go from cameras viewable only by school security to cameras viewable by 911 dispatchers, squad cars, and police districts. The article notes that the cameras will be accessible only when needed (whatever that means).

15,000 cameras is enormous. I am really curious about the technical infrastructure to integrate those feed and archive them.

There are a whole host of issues with cameras in schools, a previous post on cameras in NYC schools considers some of them.

Update: I confirmed the 10,000 cameras with Fran Spielman, the Sun-Times reporter. "The 10,000 figure includes CTA, airport, city, Park District, McCormick Place cameras, as well as private cameras hooked up to the city network."

http://www.rajivshah.com/camera/archives/2008/03/chicago_to_expa.html [rajivshah.com]

The road to hell... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683968)

is paved with good intentions.

And a few cans of spray paint can cure many ills.

let's see who benefits from this? (1)

razpones (1077227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684050)

It's not the kids, not the teachers, not the public, its the security camera company. And its not only a contract to put the cameras in schools, they are sprouting up at many corners of the city, to make more revenue since the city is pretty much broke, yet they spend money in this camera system. So far this system gave me two tickets for "moving violations" that a cop would have not cared about. The damage? 100 dollars each. Some one is making sure to get a nice contract to this company.

What's good for the goose . . . (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684066)

I propose we put a camera in Mayor Daley's office, and any other place we damn well please. Maybe we should also be able to track them using GPS. And how about all elected "public servants" being made to take random drug tests?

Elected officials and people who are paid from taxpayers' money work FOR US. We are their employers. We have every right to know what they're doing at work, where they are during the work day, and what drugs they're taking.

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