The saints haven’t come marching in, but there hasn’t been enough action or reliability on New Orleans’ surveillance camera system to keep it turned on, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has decided. So he’s turned the cameras off.
Former Mayor Ray Nagin launched the camera system in 2003, and it was touted as being the answer to municipal crime. But in the seven years since then, reports David Hammer, of The Times-Picayune, the cameras have yielded just six indictments, “three for crimes caught on video and three for bribes and kickbacks a vendor is accused of paying a former city official to sell the cameras to City Hall.”
Mayor Landrieu is keeping the cameras in place, for now, in case somebody can find a more effiective/economical way to use them. “Most of us can agree,” said the mayor, “that based on the way that they were installed, based on the way that they operated and the way they were not maintained, that they were not a good investment.”
Therein, no doubt, lie some clues to pointers on making a municipal (or maybe any) surveillance camera system a worthwhile security outlay.