Detroit, Michigan has a reputation for being a to dangerous city. The city has implemented a program called Project Green Light. This program places high definition at a businesses that are monitored by the Detroit Police Department 24 hours a day all at the business owner’s cost. It made some headlines the other day when it was used to catch a suspect in an attempted murder suspect in an incredibly quick time frame. You can see the article and video here, DPD credits Project Green Light for shooter’s quick arrest.
Here are a few things I’m taking from this. One the shooter was female, this is pretty rare in the grand scheme of things. It serves as a great reminder that you can not be too quick to dismiss females when you are using your awareness skills. Normally, you want to be making a quick threat assessment of each and every person you are near in a day. You will dismiss most as no threat, if your not then you’re either in a place you should not be or you’re getting a little paranoid. Most of us will drop females down the list as they tend not to be the violent actors that us males are, but their are exceptions to every rule.
You have the chicken and egg argument when it comes to video surveillance disproved here as well. People have the idea that cameras stop crime, they also think that Police Officers stop crime, they do not. Trust me most, Police Officers would love to be there to stop all the crimes, they simply physically can not. Cameras act as a deterrent, just like prison, and they do not stop anything, they record it. Also illustrated but the fact that this product is monitored 24 hours a day and they still did not arrest this woman that day, they needed to go to the public for an identity by releasing the video to the media.
Which the brings us to the big brother talk about surveillance. The Police Chief actually says the great old tinfoil adage, “Who never know who’s watching.” Surveillance has become so commonplace that most of us do not even notice it anymore, like someone taking on a cellphone, back in the late 80’s early 90’s that was a huge deal and now elementary school kids have a cellphone.
I did like the Police Chief’s comment about sending a clear message, “Don’t do this in Detroit.” Our illustrious Governor created a media stir a while ago with the same idea and some poorly chosen words. He said. “I tell ya, everybody in Maine, we have constitutional carry. Load up and get rid of the drug dealers. Because, folks, they’re killing our kids.” He said this in reference to Maine’s growing drug issues, later on he said, “I’d like to make it so tough that they don’t want to come to Maine.” Which was a way better statement, but not well covered on the media, bad soundbite. But there is a logic to the making public response to crime so strong that criminals move away from those areas. This is the “taking back our neighborhoods,” it works, and yes it is only a deterrent.
Finally we can take the places that business owners spent their money on this project to double check our blacklist for locations. In the video they say that these Project Greenlight cameras have been installed in gas stations, liquor stores, and fast food restaurants. So these locations need to be double checked on our list and then filtered through appropriate times to be at them. This incident happened at 4:30AM, so gas stations at odd hours is a bad place to be.