A man in a drug-ridden New Orleans neighborhood shot a surveillance camera with a paintball rifle. His image was saved on the camera’s hard drive, reports the Associated Press. The camera immediately notified the police and tracked him until he was caught,” said New Orleans chief technology officere Greg Meffert. Police discovered that the man was wanted on a murder warrant. It was the first success story from a sophisticated new crime-fighting system of cameras that New Orleans is installing citywide. The bulletproof cameras monitor an eight-block area. AP says that “civil libertarians are calling it Big Brother in the Big Easy, expressing concern about an invasion of privacy and the potential for misuse by police.”
A few cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, have started similar programs. Some cities, such as Oakland, Ca., scrapped plans to use cameras after finding they were not effective. The first New Orleans cameras were installed in October in drug-dealing hot spots. About 240 of the proposed 1,000 cameras are in operation.