The Future of Crime-Fighting

December 22, 2008 2:04:07 PM PST
Fresno Police Are Praising Surveillance Cameras.One of those cameras helped lead officers to an arrest in a shooting.

The police department has spent over a million dollars on video equipment to fight crime. Now, after two years of surveillance, video has helped solve a crime.

The video shows a shooting, captured by a Fresno police surveillance camera.

The suspect, in the light sweatshirt advances on a young man and woman. They start running, as he starts shooting.

The victim, a young man, was shot twice, but survived.

Police say this video, shown today at city hall, is going to play a key role in prosecuting the gunman who was questioned by investigators this week. Chief Jerry Dyer says the 17 year old admitted shooting, but claimed it was self defense.

Chief Jerry Dyer: "What he did not know was we had this entire incident captured on video, and the video clearly shows this is not a case of self defense and he clearly was the aggressor."

Chief Dyer says this is just an example of how video policing can work, and says he hopes to expand the current number of 50 cameras to 250 next year.

Fresno's Mayor says video policing will put Fresno on the map.

Alan Autry: "We're gonna be known with an emphasis on tourism that is the most hospitable place in America for law abiding citizens, it will be the most inhospitable place if you choose to break the law.

But Civil Activist Mike Rhodes isn't convinced, and doesn't think the cameras will stop crime, just get criminals to move off camera.

Mike Rhodes: "It's not a solution to crime, by putting cameras out, what it will do is displace it. So what's the solution? They're going to say we need more cameras in more places, so then you got cameras everywhere. They're ubiquitous. That's my concern, is that we're moving toward a police state."

Mayor Alan Autry and Police Chief Jerry Dyer insist the camera won't violate anyone's civil rights.


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