Several Nashville council members want the city to install more video cameras in public places, hoping to create a citywide surveillance network that would allow patrol officers to zoom in on crime hot spots from their patrol cars using laptop computers, reports The Tennessean. Councilman Jim Forkum plans to spend some of his $50,000 in discretionary money to add a camera along a road where a string of robberies have vexed police. “It’s another pair of eyes looking on crime hot spots 24/7, so we can reduce crime and so we can make more of a case to prosecute,” he said.
Surveillance cameras are becoming increasingly popular with police departments nationwide and around the world as a way to deter crimes and gather evidence. In New Orleans, where Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas formerly worked as a deputy chief, the city is installing a citywide camera network that ultimately will number 1,000. Chicago, which has 2,000 remote-controlled cameras, has announced plans to put a surveillance camera on virtually every city block during the next decade. Oakland, Ca., officials ditched plans to use cameras after a pilot project showed no conclusive evidence that they reduced or prevented crimes.