Saturday, September 17, 2005


Downtown Los Angeles: Security cameras

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the county, city, and virtually every other part of Los Angeles. I love the history of the city, as well as the idea of what the city can become. About a week ago, cameras went up along the downtown corridor, in an effort to protect those who are spending major dollars for the lofts that overlook some shotty parts of the city.
The Historic Core last week became the latest Downtown district to receive street-level surveillance cameras. Police, developers and business owners hope the new technology, which will ultimately cover 23 Downtown blocks, will help improve the quality of life and increase safety in an area experiencing an upsurge in residential projects.

"They will enhance services and reduce crime," said Pierre Toulakany, president of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) board of directors, which voted in June to fund the network of cameras. "We have full coverage."

Toulakany said the 17 cameras, which cost about $275,000, will be installed on various buildings in an area bounded by Broadway and Los Angeles Street and Third and Ninth streets. The entire system is expected to be in place within three months, he said.

The cameras are funded by the BID, a group of business and property owners who elect to tax themselves to pay for additional security, cleaning and marketing services.

I'm not much for big-brother watching over me at all times, but I can't say I blame the people who feel safer knowing that they will make it from their car to their front door without something happening to them. Plus, when it comes down to it, the LAPD is only watching the footage, they're not paying for the setup. Instead, the BID (the group mentioned above, comprised of residential and business owners) footed for the costs associated with the equipment.

I really can't say that this is a bad idea.

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