News coverage around the country Friday examined
the use of cameras in public spaces for law enforcement purposes. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department both have announced broader use of cameras to catch speeders, lawbreakers and even people lurking in dark corners with vehicle-mounted cameras. Chicago police unveiled a high-tech sport-utility vehicle Thursday that can scan the license plates of as many as 3,600 vehicles per hour. A pair of roof-
mounted cameras capture the images and feed them into a computer, which checks for stolen vehicles, unpaid traffic tickets and people sought by police. The souped-up, $85,000 Chevy Tahoe also comes with a thermal-imaging night-vision camera.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that citizens may have an opportunity to vote on the use of surveillance cameras in publlic spaces later this spring. A councilman introduced the potential referendum, saying the issue was so controversial
that it needed a public vote rather than just council approval. And The Dallas Morning News reports that a neighborhood civic association tired of crime has decided to install cameras its members will monitor and hand over to police if criminal activity is recorded.