Thunder Bay – High Tech Camera System

High-tech camera system explored for waterway surveillance

Surveillance of the city’s waterways and other identified high risk areas could include as many as 100 state-of-the-art cameras with advanced motion detection and other analytics software to alert when there’s suspected criminal or otherwise dangerous behaviour.

Using cameras to monitor Thunder Bay’s river courses has been advocated for as a potential solution to improve public safety after the bodies of at least 10 Indigenous people have been found since 2000, including three this year.

Thunder Bay Police Service communications and technology director Chris Adams, who chairs a working group established by the city to look into developing a surveillance camera system, provided a verbal update to the police services board at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“This is saying that in this city we have an issue,” Adams said in an interview after the meeting.

“We know those are dangerous places. We need all the help we can get. This is a multi-tiered way of looking at technology, human resources and all the other prevention strategies. We really need to get thinking out of the box and use technology because it exists and push the envelope.” – Tbnewswatch

read full article here

I wonder exactly what these 100 cameras will be used for.  According to the above article, the cameras are going to be used to surveil the waterways and other high risk areas in the city.  By who?   Are these cameras going to be monitored 24/7?  Seriously?

Suspected criminal or otherwise dangerous behaviour?  Exactly what is that behaviour?  Are police going to be called every time the “advanced motion detection and other analytics software” decides that there is “suspected criminal or otherwise dangerous behviour”?  That could be a lot of calls.

The problem with these systems is that they do not prevent criminal or otherwise dangerous behaviour. They do not protect anyone from anything.  They may help the police solve crimes. They may help police identify the person or persons that murder you.  May help.

There are cameras located in the pedestrian overpass leading to the City of Thunder Bay’s $70 million plus premier tourist destination.  Four cameras to be exact.

two of these

and two of these

One at each end and two in the middle.  Four cameras.

The pedestrian overpass is a filthy, urine smelling, oft vandalized, graffiti covered, public drinking piece of taxpayer owned infrastructure.  It has four CCT cameras that can see every inch of the completely straight, non obstructed walkway.  Think about that for a minute.

There are signs around the north core claiming that the area is monitored by closed circuit cameras. Do those cameras exist?  If they do, those cameras did not identify the abandoned box on Court Street that was the cause of a suspicious package/bomb scare back in August.  Those cameras do nothing to prevent vandalism in that part of the city.

Closed circuit cameras do nothing to prevent people from robbing Macs convenience stores.

Soooo, what’s the point?  I believe this surveillance system will exist only to placate the indigenous population of the city. That’s all.  It will do nothing to make the city safer.  It will not save lives. It is money being thrown at a problem hoping it will do something…anything.  Yes, the City of Thunder Bay is THAT desperate.

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