Surveillance After the Boston Marathon Attack


in the days since video footage helped identify suspects in the Boston Marathon attack, officials in many major American cities have extolled the benefits of video surveillance technology.

New York City's police department purchased 100 mobile cameras last week and Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, recently highlighted the “important function” of security cameras in crime fighting.

Nancy La Vigne, of the Urban Institute, writes in a recent blog post on the think tank's website that surveillance technology is likely to spread to many more cities as a result of the high-profile success of the Boston investigation. However, this movement is likely to cause a debate on privacy issues, she writes.

La Vigne suggests that moving forward, law enforcement and civil liberties advocates consider certain factors in the implementation of surveillance.

Law enforcement should “consider privacy issues when creating surveillance policies” and employ trained staff as monitors, she writes, and advocates should note that effective surveillance technology can reduce crime while saving cities money.

Read La Vigne's guidelines and access links to relevant Urban Institute research HERE.

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