Lawmakers: Not Enough Surveillance Cameras in Broward County, FL

http://www.nbc6.net/news/15015702/detail.html

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Lawmakers: Not Enough Surveillance Cameras In Broward Co.

POSTED: 6:29 pm EST January 9, 2008
Some South Florida lawmakers on Wednesday said there aren’t enough surveillance cameras in public areas.

Officials said storefronts are protected, but parking lots are not.

"We’re dealing with a different type of criminal today," said Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion Jr.

Lawmakers said different measures must be taken to provide safety for Broward County residents.

The Broward County Commission is researching whether surveillance cameras should be mandated for public areas, such as malls and shopping plazas.

It’s a system already in place in Miami-Dade County.

"The county attorney will look at that as well as some of the local ordinances that have passed in Pompano Beach in respect to some of the convenience stores," Eggelletion said.

Pompano Beach pushed for the change after Broward County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Reyka was shot and killed outside a Walgreens. There were no surveillance cameras in the parking lots and there are still no suspects in custody.

A mother and daughter were killed outside the Boca Town Center Mall where a store camera caught surveillance of them leaving, but there were no cameras in the parking lot. That case remains unsolved.

"I think it’s the rights of all the citizens in this country to live in a free society free of crime," Eggelletion said.

Local residents on Las Olas Boulevard weighed in on the county’s surveillance camera increase.

"The only thing it could do is protect people," said Broward County resident John Greenfield. "It’s a great idea."

"I think we need it," said Broward County resident Alexander Niedermier. "I’m hoping that it will deter crime and lower my insurance."The funds would come from the business property owners in Broward County, not taxpayers.

While some people are optimistic about the new surveillance systems, other said they are nervous about "Big Brother" being all over Broward County.

"London is an international hub for immigration, and I could see in cities such as London that it would be required or almost necessary," one man said.

Security cameras already line Broward County’s highways. The new legislation would bring them to the streets to catch people like red-light runners to bring in extra revenue to the county.

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