St. Pete surveillance cameras under microscope following investigation

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Following a 10 News Investigators story on surveillance cameras that had yet to yield any tangible results, a city councilman will ask Thursday for a shift in policy on the technology, reports Noah Pransky.

Mayor Bill Foster instituted a surveillance camera pilot program in 2010 upon taking office, but limited funds have prohibited the city from installing more than 10 cameras.  As 10 News first reported last week, the cameras — mostly in city parks — are not monitored by police.

Foster acknowledged the city hasn’t had the tools to take full advantage of the technology yet, but Councilman Karl Nurse says when funds become available, the city should install surveillance cameras in high-crime areas.

“We’re not using it for hot spots,” Nurse said, adding several pockets in his district have severe drug problems. “We’re not really even (watching the feeds). This is sort of passive resistance.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.