Four years ago, the New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin unveiled plans to dot the city with up to 1,000 crime surveillance cameras to assist detectives and prosecutors in nailing criminals and, more optimistically, as a deterrent to crimes, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Despite repeated pledges, and a slew of mixed messages, the several dozen cameras that now keep watch over the city fall severely short of the number promised.
The project had lain dormant in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath when this year, Nagin included cameras among a slew of crime-fighting initiatives trotted out in response to public outrage over the recent rash of murders. A police spokesman asserted that 80 cameras are up and operating. Police sources and public records, however, put the number at 51.