Are surveillance cameras making Chicago safer?

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CHICAGO — Chicago has the most advanced surveillance camera network in the country — and one of the most advanced in the world. And the number of cameras has grown from just 30 to thousands, though others say the number is much higher.  The cameras were first installed during the Daley administration to help fight crime. And Mayor Emanuel has expanded the program.  But as WGN’s Gaynor Hall reports,  some believe cameras are not living up to promises.

A spokesperson for the Cook County State's Attorney's office tells WGN-TV they can't identify a precise number of cases where cameras were utilized, though they have been helpful in some cases. Thanks to a million dollar grant, the Illinois Institute of Technology is working with the city to study the impact of cameras on crime. In the meantime, the technology is getting cheaper. The images are clearer. And by all accounts, surveillance cameras are here to stay.  You can find much more by clicking these web extras and links.

Producer Pam Grimes and Photojournalists Steve Scheuer and Mike D'Angelo contributed to this report

WEB EXTRAS:

"You're always on camera in downtown Chicago."  Ed Yohnka, ACLU Illinois.

"This program has saved lives."  Jonathan Lewis, Deputy Chief of Technology, Chicago Police Department.

What is the effect of cameras on CTA?  Dr. Rajiv Shah, Asst. Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois Chicago.

 

For even more information, click these links:

ACLU Illinois Camera Study 2011

ACLU Illinois Policy suggestions 2014

Urban Institute Study of Chicago cameras 2011

Chicago Police Dept. page on PODs