Council Reacts To LPD Cameras - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/20/07

Council Reacts To LPD Cameras

Some Lubbock City Council Members are asking why they weren't notified about a new camera system in use by the Lubbock Police Department.  NewsChannel 11 told you about these cameras Wednesday night.

Police use them in public right of ways, like an alley, but don't want to say exactly where they're located.  That's because the goal is to catch criminals in the act. 

Council members we spoke with think the cameras are a good idea, but some wish they knew about them before our story aired Thursday.

"I think it's probably a policy issue that council needs to address," Lubbock City Councilman John Leonard said. 

Leonard told NewsChannel 11 he was shown surveillance pictures of a burglar caught in the act this past summer. He didn't know where those photos came from, until now.

"When you all broke the story the other night about the seven, I thought was that part of that, that I saw last summer," Leonard said. 

"I learned about it when NewsChannel 11 broadcasted it," Lubbock City Councilman Todd Klein said. 

Klein also learned about the cameras from our story, and he says the topic should have been discussed with council first.

"Even if this doesn't seem like a controversial issue to some, it might seem like a minor component in a large organization, really we want to see good judgement to bring that to us as policy makers," Klein said. 

Lubbock City Councilman Floyd Price, a former police officer, disagrees.

"This was a grant, and so I don't see where the city council needs to get involved with the police issue," Price said. 

Price says police departments know what they need.

"They know what safety factors they should use, and they know what the law says about things, and so I think let them run the police department," Price said. 

Some folks in town see a benefit to the cameras.

"If it's an area that's having a lot of burglaries, and there's a high problem with it, then I would say I would be all for it," one Lubbock resident said. 

"If you're not doing anything illegal, why should it bother you," another resident added. 

Some people also see set backs.

"If you can see into backyards or into private areas, then that's when I would have a problem with it," one Lubbock resident said. 

"I guess it would be good to catch burglars, but it's kind of invading your privacy," another resident added.

"I wish they had one in every alley, and I wish they'd put one right behind my house," Price said. 

"I want to make sure we're doing everything we need to do to guarantee there are no violation or infringements on civil liberties," Klein said. 

"It doesn't scare me because I know our police force; I know our police captain, and so I'm not worried about abuse, but down the road could there be potential," Leonard said. 

Police say they have seven cameras, and they can move them anywhere across town in public right of ways.  The cameras are motion activated, so any movement triggers the camera to record.

Staying Safe Around Your Home
The Lubbock Police Department put together this useful manual. It's a checklist of what you can look for around your home to keep you and your family safe.

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