A different point of view.

Posts Tagged ‘terrorist attack

How 9/11 Should Be Remembered

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On September 11, 2001, a fellow New Yorker and friend of mine, a public health historian who knew instantly what the dangers were, bicycled directly into the smoke, ash, and chemicals that hung over lower Manhattan searching for his daughter whose school was only blocks away from the collapsed buildings. She was, it turned out, “safe” in that same pall of dangerous smoke. She had been evacuated to the street with her class in time to see people leaping or falling to their deaths from the upper floors of one of the crippled towers. You probably couldn’t live in New York City that day and not be connected, however indirectly, to someone who died. In my case, it was the father of a classmate of my son’s, a photographer, who also advanced into the chaos near one of the towers, leaving behind an eerie, moving trail of photographs.

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Letter to local newspaper about surveillance cameras

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Here is a letter I wrote to my local newspaper about surveillance cameras in public areas:

I am well aware of the horrible sexual assault in [EDITED], and the subsequent apprehension of the perpetrators with assistance from one of the cameras; and I’m grateful they were promptly captured, but we must not let emotion cloud a very important debate.

Despite the fact that there are more than 4.2 million surveillance cameras in the United Kingdom, multiple government commissioned studies have proven the cameras ineffective by finding that they have no statistically significant impact on crime rates at all. In the isolated event that crime decreases in a certain area, it goes up in the areas immediately surrounding it. In the case of [EDITED], this would move crime from the high traffic areas where the cameras are installed into the quieter neighborhoods that surround those areas.

The Department of Homeland Security provided the town of [EDITED] with these cameras in order to assist in the evacuation of [EDITED] in the event of an emergency; but should such an event occur, we all know there would be no remedy for the traffic problems that would ensue, which would in effect render the cameras useless.

So we must ask ourselves: if studies have found them worthless in preventing crime, and logic tells us they would be useless in assisting the evacuation of [EDITED], what is the true purpose of these cameras?