Crowdsourcing Big Brother: Police Turn to Private Cameras for Surveilance

Remember, earlier this year City Controller Alan Butkovitz criticized the city’s surveillance camera system, saying only about a third of the cameras work? We find out today that the police are busy creating a better system—this one composed of cameras already owned and in use by private operators. NBC10 reports:

Police say Petroski’s surveillance camera is one of 600 that have been registered in a city-wide program known as “SafeCam.” Through SafeCam, police are able to notify registered members whenever there’s a criminal incident in the vicinity of their camera.

Police say registering with Safecam is free, quick and completely voluntary.

“The whole idea of SafeCam is to remain anonymous,” said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Stanford. “In no way, shape or form are we looking to put anyone in harm’s way.”

One additional side note: Last week, when the mayor asked for donations of supplies to schools, we pointed out the city was shirking its most basic functions. “Will we be donating bullets to the police department next?” we asked. This isn’t that. But it’s not really not that either.