Spector: Give surveillance crime-fighting a chance
Feb 28, 2018 | 12:30 PM
The Washington-based Police Foundation recommended the city conduct "a rigorous evaluation" next to determine whether the program could be adopted in a cost-efficient, effective and transparent way. (Baltimore Sun video)
I am writing as a retired member of the Baltimore City Council. Since retiring, I have been involved in several civic activities which will assist all the citizens of Baltimore. Baltimore remains a city that I love. With all of our warts and possibilities, no issue is as important as crime reduction. I am writing today to clarify misconceptions contained in the recent letter, “Surveillance plane won’t solve problems” (Feb. 26).
Currently, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa need all the arrows in their quiver to reduce criminal activity and homicides in Baltimore. Technology can provide many of these mechanisms. The Community Support Program using aerial surveillance will be of help to the police department and, most importantly, to those of us who live and work in the city.
The first version of the community support program was not properly vetted, explained or rolled out and was shelved. Since then, 600 souls have departed the earth because of violence in Baltimore. That is unacceptable.
Over the past few months, several leading Baltimore citizens and community leaders have been working to adequately explain the value of this program. In community meetings and town halls across the city, the various components and safety features have been explained and demonstrations given. The letter writer made many erroneous assumptions. With advancements in technology, privacy can now be assured. It is my understanding that a Houston-based philanthropic organization is willing to fund an adequate pilot of the Community Support Program with local independent evaluation.
It is time for Mayor Pugh and Commissioner De Sousa to implement this program to reduce Baltimore crime.
Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, Baltimore
The writer, a Democrat, represented District 5 on the Baltimore City Council from 1977 to 2016.