[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 35°F  
Freeze Warning
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Video technology: Crimes solved, criminals deterred

Thursday, May 3, 2007

SIKESTON, Mo.--If Cape Girardeau needs a model of how to use surveillance technology to monitor after-hours activity on downtown streets, officials need look no further than Sikeston.

Near the end of 2005, the city installed 21 cameras at its schools, downtown area and around the low-income Sikeston Housing Authority. The total project came with an initial price tag of $123,000, of which the city paid $25,000.

Since then, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety has steadily expanded the program and will soon have 32 cameras bringing the total cost to over $200,000.

Both the school and housing authority helped pay for the cameras and each has access to the feeds for their own security use. Additional funds came from state and federal grants.

City officials say the devices are already paying dividends by crimes solved and criminals deterred.

"We want people who are criminals to go somewhere else. We want people to know if they come to Sikeston they better not come here to act up because we're going to get 'em," said Sikeston Mayor Mike Marshall.

The cameras, which are operated by a joystick from the control room in the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, are known as PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom). This means they can be shifted around 360 degrees and tilted up or down.

An emergency dispatcher watches the cameras 24 hours daily. The clarity is strong enough to pick out facial features from three blocks away or a license plate number from about a block and a half.

The images are projected on two 42-inch plasma television monitors and digital feeds are recorded on a hard drive and saved for 30 days.

Look for more on this story in Friday's Southeast Missourian.

335-6611, extension 245


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

200K for spy cameras? If I had a camera that can pick out peoples features from 3 blocks away sitting outside my living room window I would really put on a show for the boys back at the station house. And how about being specific on how much crime has been solved and deterred? Since we're giving up our constitutional right to privacy it only seems fair to know what we're getting for it.

-- Posted by CapeRacer on Thu, May 3, 2007, at 5:25 PM

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public, on the city streets, or doing anything that anyone, including the police are free to see.

-- Posted by IonU on Thu, May 3, 2007, at 8:55 PM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.