AzCLU Denounces Town of Superior's Big Brother Policing Tactics

January 14, 1997 12:00 am

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AzCLU Denounces Town of Superiors Big Brother Policing Tactics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 14, 1997

PHOENIX — The Town of Superior will unveil a new policing tactic on Saturday cameras mounted in the town square and Main Street to tape citizens activities. The police hope the new “Video Security System” will deter criminal activity and provide additional support to their limited staff.

The Arizona Civil Liberties Union warns that even though the surveillance cameras are in public places, they allow police new power to pry into citizens private lives.

“Such tactics bring to mind Big Brother government monitoring citizens movements,” said Katrina Nylund, Interim Director at the Arizona Civil Liberties Union “People should be free to cross town without fearing that their daily activities will be on file in the police chiefs video library.”

Police Chief Robert W. Lowe said the cameras are being installed to ensure officer safety and to reduce vandalism. Due to budget cuts in recent years officers are often forced to respond to calls alone. The Chief hopes the cameras will provide backup support for the officers. “Its unfortunate that citizens have to compromise their privacy because the police department isnt adequately funded,” said Nylund.

Cities around the country who have experimented with video surveillance cameras have had mixed results. Without any concrete evidence that cameras are successful crime fighters, the ACLU urges that the cameras remain unplugged.

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