Baltimore says no to putting bar's cam on its city network

PSW readers, check out this interesting article out of Baltimore about the police decision to not to take a video camera feed from a bar and make it available for monitoring by police. The bar apparently was a nuisance location for the city, having attracted drug deals and being a location for some shootings, so the idea was offered by the bar owner and the bar's lawyers as a way to improve the bar's security.

The decision to not have the police department monitor the bar's cameras seemed to have hinged on these factors:

  • the police already have enough cameras to monitor
  • monitoring of the inside of a bar raises privacy concerns
  • monitoring of the inside of a bar raises liability concerns in terms of police response
  • agreement could have shifted bar's security responsibility to police.

There's more about the decision in the Baltimore Sun article, and it's well worth the minute it will take you to read it. I would expect this decision to be a bit of a watershed in terms of how Memorandum's of Understanding are defined between police city video surveillance systems and private businesses.

- Geoff Kohl (SIW) for PublicSafetyWatch blog