Bloomberg to Pay for $5M Worth of Citiwatch Cams, License Plate Readers, Gunshot-Detection Tech for Police
As Baltimore’s homicide rate continues to rise to near-record levels, the city announced this weekend that it’s received a multi-million dollar donation from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s foundation for new police surveillance gadgets.
A foundation devoted to researching policing strategies has concluded the Baltimore Police Department’s much-debated aerial surveillance program wasn’t a secret and was just an extension of investigative technology already in use. In fact, the foundation says in a new report that the program should be subject to “rigorous evaluation” so the BPD can proceed with its use, and develop guidelines in case other American police departments want to surveil their cities by plane, as well.
Karin Riley Porter is an attorney in Virginia who handles cases ranging from DUIs to serious felonies. As a former prosecutor, Ms. Porter has an innate understanding of how law enforcement functions when investigating a crime.
Baltimore City Police are facing criticism for using evidence from aerial surveillance to make arrests without revealing the use of the footage to the defense attorneys in court. In two recent court cases, police used footage from a surveillance plane that collected images from all over the city to track down defendants but did not inform defense attorneys of the use of this footage.
Whether they’re on your house or a police officer, cameras are changing the way crime is investigated. This week, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake embraced a new program that would allow Baltimoreans to turn their private cameras into a network. But she wasn’t quite ready for the police to wear devices that would film the incidents they’re involved in.