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Will Cameras Put An End to South Seattle Crime, Violence? McGinn Thinks You Might Think So.

January 3, 2011

Seattle Urban League President and CEO James Kelly wants 4 surveillance cameras along Henderson street in south Seattle.

A few weeks ago Kelly held a press conference demanding the city install cameras as a means to prevent the shootings and murders that have held steady over the past few years.

The Urban League received funding from the city for the Mayor’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to provide outreach workers who work with youth to stop violence before it happens. The relationships they create, and the resulting information, are invaluable to the fight against youth gun and gang violence.

But Kelley says street outreach isn’t enough.  He says in order to get the streets to talk, cameras are needed.

It’s an interesting concept.  According to the Mayor’s office Hizzoner wants to know if the community thinks cameras would help the problem and make people feel safer.

Is it enough to feel safe, or, would South Seattle residents actually like to be safe?

Cameras are pretty easy to get around, especially when installed in such a small area.  We’re talking about 4 cameras on a single street.

It’s safe to say that if cameras are installed along Henderson, crime will go down- because all the people committing crimes will know where the cameras are.  They’d be foolish to commit violent crimes, street robberies or drug deals on camera.

Instead, they’ll move to a different street where the cameras can’t see them.  And then what? Do we move the cameras? Is that a solution?  To always be a step behind the ones committing the crimes?

Technology as a method to fight or prevent crime is a smart idea, but the fact is, on the technology front, the ones committing the crimes are winning. They use pagers, codes and lookouts with cell phones to carry out crimes and avoid police.  A few cameras on one city block aren’t going to change that.

It would be great if there were some way to reduce the number of killings and violent crimes happening in South Seattle, or anywhere for that matter. But there is no magic pill that will stop youth gun and gang violence.  We’re talking about a culture that has had decades to take hold and become the norm.

Last month we learned the Urban League will not receive anymore funding from the City for street outreach and intervention.  It’s unfortunate- the progress made with Seattle youths by the outreach workers is circling the drain- it’s a huge step backwards.

It’s going to take hard work, consistency and determination to change the tide of violence in Seattle, not just Big Brother.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Casey permalink
    January 28, 2011 11:29 pm

    Cameras arent going to stop it but its a great start, yeah criminals might move, but theyll still be caught one way or another. This violence needs to stop, and innocent people need to live. Ive been reading alot about this lately and seattle police have let people go after illegally having a gun, these people should be charged, a crime is a crime and it needs to be dealt with no matter what it is. Thats the only way its going to change, not by letting things go.

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