Cameras Help Curb Crime | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Cameras Help Curb Crime 

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Ten years ago, I moved in to my community directly adjacent to Pioneer Park [“They’re Watching You,” May 21, City Weekly]. To say that there was a problem with crime at the time is an understatement. One morning, I came home to find a burglar in my apartment. Another evening, there were three unrelated attempted break-ins in the complex. Shortly after, a man entered a senior’s apartment and attempted to rape her. Squatting and trespassing were common. I can’t count how many bicycles were stolen.

I started a Neighborhood Watch program and familiarized myself with similar organizations in the area. That helped. After a neighbor named Christian Draayer was slain in the park by a transient, the city ratcheted up the pressure to clean up the area, which also helped.

Recently, something happened that made more of a difference than my decade of efforts. And it happened in the blink of an eye. This event was the installation of cameras in the park.

Literally overnight, the difference was so dramatic and apparent that not even the most stubborn naysayers can deny it. No one whom I have spoken to expected such a result: The common criminal’s appetite for anonymity is the first to spring to mind for me.

Anyone who objects to such programs has obviously not seen the tears in the eyes of so many friends who were victims of crime, as I have. I applaud the efforts of the Salt Lake City Police Department for its use of the tools of modern society to try to keep us from harm, and I will support any similar programs to come. I don’t believe for an instant that my neighbors and I are being “spied” upon and, frankly, I resent the implication.

Steve White
Salt Lake City

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