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Opinion Hattiesburg is not Big Brother: crime cameras are not...

Hattiesburg is not Big Brother: crime cameras are not an invasion

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While Hattiesburg officials aim for another attempt at deescalating crime, many residents aren’t too thrilled at the newest project to place crime cameras around the city. The cameras do not prevent crime, but they can help to lower the crime rate by finding suspects and bringing them to justice.

Project NOLA is a camera system to be placed throughout the city in an effort to reduce crime through gunshot detection and license plate identification. The cameras are only to be purchased by individuals or businesses that support the system. While many residents are against the idea, they should be excited about the outcome the cameras could bring.

As for those claiming it to be an invasion of privacy, the cameras will be facing the city streets. To further explain, anyone has the right to record someone in a public place without consent. So residents saying that this is an invasion of privacy have either been misinformed or are unaware of their rights. It would be an invasion of privacy if someone were to place a camera within another person’s home, but that is not what the City of Hattiesburg is trying to accomplish.

It is not enforced upon any resident because individuals and businesses can choose whether to purchase the cameras. If residents fear that their privacy is being breached, they can simply refrain from buying the camera. The cameras were installed in New Orleans and lowered the crime rate. However, the cameras do not stop all crime, as that would be impossible, if not just extremely difficult.

Reinforcing punishment for those committing the crimes is the whole reason the project is an incredible idea. Those against resolving crime must have a personal vendetta against the law or are afraid to be incriminated themselves. If anything, residents should be excited about the change and should be welcoming it just as they have welcomed dash cams.

Many have assumed that the cameras are to enforce traffic laws as well, but this is far from the truth. Residents might just be unaware that state law prohibits the use of traffic cameras in order to enforce traffic laws. Hopefully, that will change, although I’m sure many suburban mothers would protest the idea.

The City of Hattiesburg is not Big Brother, nor are they trying to dig into the lives of residents through computer monitors. They are simply trying to enforce the law and catch any criminals on the run. Law enforcement does not have enough of a personal vendetta against residents to peep into their personal lives. They frankly could not care less about your affair, Karen.

The best thing residents can do throughout this process is to stay informed, do their research and refrain from breaking the law in the first place. Because I’m sure others will agree, Hattiesburg could very well be on its way to becoming a much safer city for all parties involved. Not many would object to that.

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