LETTER: On surveillance, ends justify the means

Lawrence Goldman
York Township
LOGO police fire

I recently read a report in The York Dispatch entitled "Camera network panned." In the report, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union said that a proposed 200-camera surveillance system for the City of York would disproportionately target Black and brown communities. I find this hard to believe especially when York City is 51.2% white.

Does this person believe those monitoring the system will judge the activity of people of color more suspicious than those of white people? As long as those monitoring the action are civilian-based and have government oversight, I don't see it. 

More:ACLU: Surveillance network would target York City's minorities

More:York City officials eye surveillance network to combat crime

The system shouldn't be deployed as a "stand alone" crime prevention system anyway, monitoring everything and anything. Research has shown that CCTV systems should be ones that narrowly target vehicle and property crime.

Surveillance cameras in York City is an idea whose time has come. In fact, it's long overdue. How many people would be alive today if cameras had been installed 10 years ago? How many perpetrators of crimes would have been apprehended because they were identified through video surveillance?

If one life if saved, it will be worth all the money and all the "invasion of privacy" that some critics of the system shout about. In regards to surveillance cameras in York City to deter and document crime, the ends justify the means.