Big Brother Is Watching You, Long Beach: New Police Surveillance System Unveiled
Long Beach residents and visitors better start behaving, as Big Brother really is watching. The Long Beach Police Department has unveiled “Long Beach Common Operating Picture,” also known as “Long Beach COP,” a new system linking 400 cameras citywide—both publicly and privately owned—that produce video feeds of Long Beach’s parks, beaches, business corridors and other city sources to the police department’s communications center.
Police Chief Jim McDonnell and Mayor Bob Foster officially launched the “state-of-the-art program” Monday, one “that will improve community safety and change the way the Long Beach Police Department responds to crime,” McDonnell told theLong Beach Press-Telegram. Not only can the system help combat crime, it can also be used in times of natural disaster.
Long Beach COP combines law enforcement data with real-time video feeds from the aforementioned locations as well as police department helicopters. The Press-Telegram details the system’s operations:Members of the media were given demonstrations of the new technology, which is controlled through six computer stations linked to specialized databases that provide information on anything from license plate numbers and vehicle registration to a suspect’s past criminal history.The live feeds are broadcast on a bank of big screen monitors at one end of the Police Department’s communications center. As the information is uncovered, dispatchers can radio the information to officers in the field.
Though members of the community have understandably voiced concern over privacy violations, “the chief noted the cameras are located in the public sector and the system won’t be used to monitor any public location unless there are real security concerns,” said the Press-Telegram.
The system, which was funded almost entirely by federal grants, will be deployed during high crime periods, which are typically Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Once issues surrounding budget constraints and specialized training needs are ironed out, the system will eventually run continuously.
“We’re finding ways to be more efficient, we’re finding ways to deploy resources better and we’re … putting more eyes on the street without putting more bodies out there,” said Foster. McDonnell added that the program is not “designed to replace people” but “to increase efficiencies and maximize technologies in combating crime, and to promote greater community and officer safety.”
I bet those cameras won’t be used to monitor how many Long Beach Officers harass people, though.
Is it crass to say that because of this Long Beach COP bullshit, I wanna go suck a guy’s dick right in front of a camera, while wearing a police hat, and flipping off the camera at the same time?