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Flint Has Installed Cameras in High Crime Neighborhoods!

A close up of a surveillance camera, hanging from the ceiling of an industrial building.
Is surveillance really safety? Some say yes, some say no. Only time will tell for the city of Flint…

The idea of being monitored round the clock is a very “big brother” concept that doesn’t sit well with some people here in Michigan and particularly in Genesee County. For the British, who’ve had their every public move recorded by CCTV for decades, the idea isn’t all that strange. But here in the U.S., and particularly here in Michigan, the notion of being watched at all times is deeply uncomfortable. Especially when the pair of eyes on the other end of that camera feed is a police officer’s eyes. Which is exactly what’s happening right now in the city of Flint!

Flint has installed more than 50 police monitored cameras.

The cameras, installed recently by Sonitrol Great Lakes, are positioned throughout different neighborhoods in Flint with a reputation for high crime (like Murder, Assault and Armed Robbery). But how does a city like Flint, with a long-standing reputation for financial difficulties, afford such high-tech devices and the manpower to monitor them around the clock? The cameras were purchased with a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was granted to the Flint Housing Commission for this exact purpose. They will be monitored at all times by officers from the Flint Police Department.

Officials are excited for what the cameras mean for Flint‘s future.

The cameras, which have been installed at River Park Apartments and Howard Estates (two neighborhood areas with very high crime rates) will allow cops to watch the areas in real-time. “It’s going to be a tool in helping us achieve our goal of making our communities safer and making people want to live in affordable housing,” said Flint Housing Commission Executive Director Harold Ince. “The cameras will be connected to the Flint Police Department’s intel center, which will allow them to view the properties in real-time, which will help reduce crime.”

Will the city of Flint be any safer now that it’s being surveilled?

The term “surveillance isn’t safety” has been used over and over to sum up the issue of spying and over-reporting done in the name of “public safety”. However, not everyone welcomes being watched by the police. Several Flint residents have said that they welcome the increased observation, and hope it will deter crime, and possibly even help officers solve crimes in the future. However, just as many residents of the city believe it was a political move aimed at garnering votes in the upcoming election. And many have expressed their concern about the possible violation of rights. So here again, we have differing opinions about the cops keeping an eye on citizens to protect them. 

It’s too early to know if this new system will be effective

According to the National Police Library, “Review finds that the use of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) can lead to a small reduction in crime.” However, they also point out that CCTV is more effective when “directed against specific types of crime” like reducing theft of, and from, vehicles, but has no discernible impact on levels of violent crime. So what is the prognosis for the city of Flint? Only time will tell. And as for the claimed violation of privacy and rights, that’s a whole other matter…  We know this for sure. Appellate courts in Michigan and all over the USA have ruled that we citizens have “no reasonable expectation of privacy in public places.”  

If you’ve been accused of a crime in Genesee County, Flint, or any other Michigan city…

You’re going to need the help of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Whether the arrest happened in Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Midland, Lansing, or any other city in Michigan, violent crimes have very serious consequences. And video evidence to back up an officer’s claim (even if it’s of questionable quality) can make allegations harder to fight. So don’t wait – this is your future at stake here! Reach us at 866 766 5245 or attorneys@kronzek.law today and get the help you need. We’re available 24 / 7 by calling 1 866-7NoJail.  

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