Hikers, bikers, and picnickers at three Nashville parks will be subject to surveillance this summer, after the city installs video cameras in areas known as gathering spots for open sexual activity, says the Tennessean. The Parks Board earlier this year gave the go-ahead for the purchase of 16 video cameras and software to cost $20,000. An undercover sex sting last week at at one of the parks resulted in 38 people being cited.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee oppses the surveillance, saying cameras would be costly and ineffective, as well as chill speech and associational activity. Hedy Weinberg, state ACLU director, has said money would be better spent on community policing rather than cameras, “which will only move crime from one corner of the park to another.” Park officials who researched the use of cameras in parks nationwide found no instances where cameras had been used to deter sex acts.