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Texas Police Surveillance: Cameras Are Watching You While Police DashCams Aren’t Watching the Police As Much (Because the Cops Don’t Like the Discipline Results)

Technological advances are being used by law enforcement, they always have been.  Watch old movies or classic television shows and you can see innovations in communications and monitoring devices making their way into police departments and law enforcement agencies.  It’s to be expected, right?

So, no one should be very surprised to learn that lots of surveillance gizmos are going to be watching people without their knowledge at the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival this month. They’ve got cameras operated by the police department, the water utility, and  the public works department along with other branches of law enforcement. They even have police officers on the ground wired with their own little surveillance devices.

In fact, reports are that the City of Fort Worth alone has spent over $30 million in the past seven years on surveillance stuff.  Thirty Million Dollars.

There are plans for Fort Worth (and this goes for other law enforcement agencies, too – Fort Worth isn’t a maverick here) to connect its camera network with other surveillance networks.  Places like hospitals, campuses, and the like will soon all web together so that you and other members of the public can all be monitored.

Without your being aware of being watched.  Feel safer?

Of course, Fort Worth police are not taking any bows: they claim they’re just doing what most every metropolitan police department is doing – pointing to surveillance monitoring already in use at the Texas Motor Speedway and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.  Surveillance is just the next step in crime fighting.

Don’t worry about your civil rights, they say.  The police just want to keep everyone safe.

Camera Monitoring of Police Officers Is Halted:  Dallas Cops Being Disciplined Too Much

Meanwhile, over at the Dallas Police Department, there’s been some changes to their camera surveillance too:  seems that Dallas police officers complained so much about having the cameras on them that the Dallas Police Department have STOPPED MONITORING OF the videocams that have been recording the actions of police officers on the job.

You know, police videocams that catch bad acts like this one.

Seems that the police officers have won their argument that these pesky dash-cams in their patrol cars are resulting in too many disciplinary actions being filed against them.

The Irony in Texas:  Public Gets Watched More While the Police Get Watched Less

So, here in Texas right now we’ve got more cameras being put up everywhere — without the public being informed where the cameras are located or who is watching them through those cameras (and for what reason) — at the same time that cameras placed in police cars are being slammed as capturing too much bad stuff and cops aren’t happy at being disciplined for things like speeding or turning off their video cams during pursuits or officer-assist calls.

Ironic, isn’t it?  There’s more.

Austin Audio Captures Cop Killing Cisco the Dog

Consider this:  in Austin there was a recent incident where an Austin Police Department squad car pulled up to a man’s home while the man was in his backyard, playing Frisbee with his dog, a blue heeler named Cisco.  The police officer got out of his car, and when he approached the man, Cisco – as any good dog would – ran to bark at the stranger.

The cop shot the dog.  That’s right.  Shot Cisco. It was caught on audiotape (don’t know if there is a video).  The man can be heard crying out, “why have you shot my dog?”  to which the cop continued to point his gun at the man.

Now, problems abound here not the least of which is that the cop HAD THE WRONG ADDRESS. He was trying to track down a suspect but the man in this story was a total innocent.

Think about this story the next time you’re out in your back yard, playing with your kids or your pets.  Think about the audio-cam being the only thing in the Austin story to support the innocent citizen’s claims of what the heck happened that afternoon.

Read the comments to this newstory of the event and learn what other Austinites think about their law enforcement – how much they trust their police officers.   (Not much.) Or just join the growing number of folk who are demanding Justice for Cisco.

>And then think some more about the irony that while they are aiming more camera lens at you, they’re not watching the cops as much now, because the cops don’t like it.

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