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Surveillance Cameras: Real Life Robocops

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Surveillance Cameras: Real Life 'RoboCops'

Audience - American Citizens, especially registered voters in major cities

Point of View- Policemen

Working the streets for twenty years has shown me a side of humanity I wish I didn't know existed. One night with me on the streets, patrolling, protecting, you'll wish there were policemen on every corner. We have threats within and outside of our borders, playing on the weakness of our law enforcement. Since it isn't possible to hire thousands of more, the most cost effective and trustworthy alternative is the installation of surveillance cameras in areas most prone to crime and terrorist attacks. When placed strategically on roof tops, street lights, ATMs, or traffic lights-there is an assurance that 'someone' is always looking out for you.

If you're a law abiding citizen, with nothing to hide, and no plans to commit a felony, these cameras provide an added sense of security to your every day life. Cameras are today's super-cops, capable of working twenty-four hours a day without pay. Molly Smithsimon, author of "Private Lives, Public Spaces: The Surveillance State", points out, "Video feeds can be linked to a nationwide or international database to scan for matches with criminal suspects. Images can be enhanced far beyond the visual capabilities of a human being." With these capabilities cameras would undeniably aide and expand law enforcements abilities to protect and serve our country.

Cameras also provide police with critical evidence-undeniable visual proof of crimes. Cameras, unlike a human being, are infallible and unbiased. Cameras can't be bribed, persuaded to look the other way, or lie. These watchful eyes would ensure truly blind justice. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said it best, " This [a bill proposing the installation of more cameras] would be a victory for liberty, safety, and the security of the American people."

In order for America to remain a dominant western power an organized, democratic, and government sanctioned force should be allowed to utilize the powerful tool of surveillance cameras. The bombings that took place in London during July showcased the capabilities of a digital video surveillance system. After each attack, authorities were able to quickly produce relatively high-resolution images of the suspected bombers. This key information is what allowed a fast-moving investigation



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