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Argument: Crime cameras are too costly for too few benefits

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"Paying for failure: New Orleans' crime cameras broken as killings take place." The Times-Picayune. November 20, 2008 - "There’s little to show for the $7 million taxpayers have plunged down this rabbit hole. That’s more than the $5.5 million budgeted for recruiting and training new police officers next year. Yet the administration wants the council to approve another $1.6 million for camera maintenance in 2009. Spending more on cameras would only make sense if our city had a fully-staffed Police Department, an efficient justice system, someone who made the cameras work and truckloads of extra cash. None of these apply to New Orleans."

"If New Orleans' crime cameras are useless, cut them from the budget". Times-Picayune. November 15, 2008 - Considering the limited results from the cameras, public money could be more productive in other crime-fighting efforts or as savings intended to help avoid a tax hike.

"Crime cameras fail to catch musician's killer, mourners say". November 23, 2008 - "About 200 people gathered Saturday night for a candle light vigil in New Orleans to remember 37 year old Brian Thickstin, who was shot and killed last week. Organizers say the city’s crime camera program failed to help bring Thickstin’s killer to justice.

[Nicolas Case, a friend of Thickstin said,] 'it makes me more angry--it shows the ineptitude of the city that these crime cameras, at a such a great cost to the city, aren't even working.'"

"Cameras have cut violence, study says". The Washington Post. February 21, 2008 - "The issue with the cameras is displacement," he said. "You can put a camera up, and crime will go down where the camera is focused, but the crime may be dispersed."

He also said he is not convinced that the costs are worth the benefits.

"Cameras have been useful in a handful of cases," Mendelson said. "Would we get a much better bang for our buck spending the next $4 million elsewhere?"

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