Editorial: Surveillance Cameras are Worth the Price

Does the addition of surveillance cameras on Jos. Campau mean the end of crime?


But they are worth the purchase that City Council approved last week. Four cameras will be stationed on Jos. Campau from Holbrook to Caniff, including one to be stationed overlooking a city parking lot behind the former Shoppers World (long a notorious hot spot for car thefts).

The cameras were proposed by the Downtown Development Authority and will cost nearly $50,000.

You’d think this would be universally welcomed, but this being Hamtramck there is no shortage of nay-sayers and critics.

The critics say it’s a waste of money and that cameras don’t prevent crime. They also say the city should spend the money on police bike patrols.

It’s true, surveillance cameras are not a major deterrent to crime. A low-life criminal isn’t going to care if his or her image is photographed.

But, cameras will aid police in identifying suspects and could lead to arrests.

As for using bike patrols instead, well that sounds like a great idea and in a perfect city where money was no problem it is indeed an excellent crime deterrent. Problem is, bike patrols cost far more than $50,000.

And that $50,000 price tag for cameras is a ONE-TIME cost – an important point that critics fail to realize.

The cameras are a small step to ramping up security in the city’s main shopping center and quibbling over the $50,000 cost is a red herring.

By Charles Sercombe

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