Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Worried the "Camden Camera" surveillance system might violate the rights of innocent visitors to the city's drug-plagued neighborhoods?

Talk to Laura Sánchez.

"Twenty years ago, I would have been on the civil liberties side, but now I think the [surveillance] is absolutely wonderful," says Sánchez, the special-projects coordinator for Camden's Area Health Education Center.

Beginning this week, notices will be mailed to owners of vehicles caught by the city's Eye in the Sky network. The missives are not arrest warrants, but warnings designed to encourage drug buyers to get help - and get out of town.

"People who live in the city have rights, too," says Sánchez, who lives in Fairview with her husband and daughter. "We have a right not to be worried about a drug trade fueled by people from the suburbs. I'm sick of it."

Data collected during the program's first four weeks indicate that 90 percent of the 624 "suspicious" vehicles seen at one North Camden intersection were registered to suburban addresses.

"It seems that people from the suburbs love to point their finger at Camden," longtime Fairview resident Fran Dyson says. "It's ironic that 90 percent of the buyers are from the suburbs."

She's right: A big chunk of the traffic at one of the arguably most dangerous corners in "C-town" - Sixth and York - came from places such as Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Deptford. And Blackwood, Westville, and Sicklerville.

There's no reason to think the statistics are substantially different at the other 'stop-n-cop' corners in other neighborhoods, particularly those close to I-676 and Route 130...

Maybe the program can be expanded to the suburbs since all the users live there.
Anonymous ScottC said...
When they came for Laura Sánchez, there was no one left to give a fuck.