I guess I'm on a roll, here are the notes from the proposal by Berglin:
"A proposal to expand a security camera network from downtown Minneapolis to the entire city was considered by members of the Public Safety Budget Division, Mon., Apr. 3.
S.F. 3568, carried by Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL-Mpls.), provides a grant to the state's largest city to expand the program, beginning with the neighborhoods with the highest crime rates. A program linking cameras in downtown has been successful, Berglin said, and now we need to expand the system into neighborhoods across the city. The grant, she said, is for the infrastructure to connect the cameras; the cameras are being purchased separately by community groups. Minneapolis does not have enough police, Berglin said. She said the proposal extends the effectiveness of the police with a smaller investment than would be required to hire more police. Linking the cameras also provides the police with more evidence of what has happened, she said.
Residents of the Phillips community discussed the need to address the crime plaguing their neighborhoods. The residents said the camera system will allow them to reclaim their community and to extend police presence. Terrence McManus of NorthWrite, which designed the downtown system, discussed the impact the camera network has had on crime prevention and crime fighting. He said estimates indicate the infrastructure covered by S.F. 3568 will cost about $300,000 for the entire city.
There are privacy and autonomy issues with this system, said Rich Neumeister, a privacy advocate. He said the downtown initiative has worked within appropriate guidelines. Neumeister said similar guidelines should be adopted for the citywide system. There are different issues in generally residential neighborhoods, he said, and the city should engage in open dialogue with residents about those issues.
S.F. 3568 was laid over for possible inclusion in the panel's supplemental budget proposal. "
Even with the systems I've installed and managed, that seems like a *lot* of money for public cameras...I'm guessing the bulk of it is for labor. Not that I'm opposed to cameras, since they are a control point, but it seems to me that the same money applied directly to preventive (instead of detective) activities might net a greater return for the community.