St. Pete’s experiment with surveillance cameras has yet to provide city with any tangible results

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Not saying I told you so, but I told you so.  Noah Pransky reports:

St. Petersburg has experimented with surveillance cameras in recent years too, but the technology has yet to provide the city with any tangible results. St. Pete spent roughly $10,000 on approximately 10 cameras and uplinks in 2009.

Not only can police not attribute a single arrest to the cameras, but they don’t have anyone monitoring them. Mayor Bill Foster admitted the technology’s value is limited without monitoring.

“Do we have the data to show they’ve been a great deterrent?” St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster asked rhetorically. “Probably not.”

Foster says St. Petersburg hasn’t had the money to move its surveillance program past the pilot stage, but someday hopes to expand it when money becomes available. He cited grants or seizures as possible funding sources.

“It’s all about public safety and it’s just an extension of eyes and ears,” Foster said.

Again: Not only can police not attribute a single arrest to the cameras, but they don’t have anyone monitoring them.

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.