May 21, 2008

Police cameras won't be available to the public

The JT wrote today about the police department's new policy on use of surveillance cameras. The department is planning to install five new cameras in the inner city, and allow officers to access the cameras from squad cars and the PD. One line stood out toward the end of the article (emphasis added):
The goal is to have police watch the cameras through screens in their cars or have private residents watch cameras from home, Wahlen said in his presentation.
I took that to mean residents will be able to go online and watch the cameras - not a bad idea, actually. Why limit use of the cameras to police? If they're already online, let anyone take a look.

But, that's not what Wahlen meant. Here's an explanation from Sgt. Bernie Kupper, who responded to my email asking about private residents using the cameras:
I spoke with the Chief about the quote. He has no intent on providing the access to the general public. His point was that there will be key personnel outside of the department that may be given access to the camera system such as members of the Common Council. Alderpersons often call asking about crime in certain areas, so it would make sense to offer them the opportunity to view the camera coverage themselves. They are already privy to information necessary to handle complaints from constituents as well as information necessary to manage government that we don’t put out there in the public eye.


  1. Does it really even matter? Honestly, the other 10 cameras the city has out there don't even work for crying out loud! NO ONE is watching those 10! LOL! Give these new cameras a week or so and they probably won't work either.

    We sure have a great police chief, don't we??

  2. screw the aldermen. They get treated like royalty in this town, and why???? They are NO better than any other citizen in this community. That's the problem with this city.

  3. Wouldn't you think with more eyes watching someone is bound to see something if it should happen? Kurt Wahlen are you really THAT stupid? What are you trying to hide by not allowing the people PAYING for the cameras to watch?

    Racine, it is time to get rid of this guy. Milwaukee cleaned up their department by getting rid of the chief and Racine needs to do the same.

    These aldermen are just as stupid. Why give the chief $50,000 more of OUR dollars to buy 5 cameras when the city currently owns 10 cameras that DO NOT WORK?!?!