Denver police want more eyes in the sky to watch activities on the streets in preparation for August’s Democratic National Convention, the Denver Post reports. Police hope to install at least 20 high-tech video cameras in the downtown core area that will be able to capture images as detailed as faces and license plates. “Cameras do not prevent crime,” said Cathryn Hazouri of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. Cameras could prevent people from holding lawful protests that are a part of the political process, especially during the convention, she said. “There is no need to spy. This is spying.  People may be less likely to express themselves because of the fear of being on tape by the police.”
The video will be watched in a yet-to-be constructed video monitoring center in the downtown police headquarters and the digital video will be stored for 30 days before it will be purged. The British government has spent about $1 billion since the 1990s to install an estimated 4.2 million closed-circuit cameras, or one camera for every 14 persons. U.S. cities including Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Chicago have been increasing their video surveillance. In Boston before the 2004 Democratic National Convention, police installed 30 cameras around the Fleet Center.