No. That’s My Photo You Have

Unlike no other, New Orleans is as unique as a Fat Tuesday parade. New Orleans police know the importance of surveillance cameras, especially in crime-ridden areas.

The city had strategically placed several cameras around town to capture video of possible crimes. But when police released an image of an armed robber, a couple of city residents grew angry because the image came from their camera, not one of the city’s own.

It’s not like Todd Paden and his partner, Dann Richardson, wanted the publicity. But after picking up a copy of The Times-Picayune, they saw the published image they had already handed over to police. The image in the local newspaper was one captured by the private Paden/Richardson surveillance camera.

Paden and Richardson didn’t want to be known as heroes, per se, but it wouldn’t have hurt if the city had actually mentioned it wasn’t a city camera that captured the image. Richardson just wanted to set the record straight and let everyone else know it was theirs.

Even if the city of New Orleans didn’t get it right, I’m pleased that Paden, Richardson and their neighbors were in touch enough to buy this one camera because they were concerned about crime in their area. The robbery in their neighborhood was one in a string of crimes in which a man with a bandana over his face walked into the La Peniche Restaurant, demanding everyone’s money. The thief then fled on a bicycle.

Richardson said their only motivation for calling attention to their camera’s image is to shed more light on a camera surveillance program. After all, there has been quite a bit of public money already spent on cameras.

Thanks go to the pair for their efforts in defining security with a surveillance camera, and for getting police to own up to the fact that it was a private camera that helped identify the assailant, when the city’s own failed to do so.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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