Follow-up on “Surveillance Cameras in DC”

Just a brief follow-up to my previous comments.  DC has written its regulations for this camera consolidation.  I have copied a version here.  Nice to see that the footage will be remained only for 10 days and then destroyed.  But it also seems like anyone can gain access to this footage if they ask nicely.

Poorly spent funds: Surveillance cameras in DC

I am especially sensitive to this as one of these camera units is a block and half from my house.  Questions that come to mind are:

  • How long will the District retain footage from these cameras?
  • Who will maintain this footage: law enforcement or emergency management?
  • Can I as a citizen request to see footage as part of a FOIA request?
  • Will INS/FBI/ATF/other Federal law enforcement agencies have access to these cameras on an ongoing basis?
As I mentioned there’s one of these cameras a block and half from my house.  It sits on a very heavily trafficked corner.  People stand there waiting for the bus.  There is a huge amount of vehicular traffic that goes right by it.  There is a 7-11 right there and there is always some flavor of law enforcement officer there. There is rare street crime in the area and when it does happen it happens blocks away on darker corners.  There is no way this camera prevents crime in any way shape or form.
If the real goal is to prevent crime, instead of spending the $10 million to set this system up, put that cash to funding more neighborhood cops who walk a beat.