Minneapolis Police Considering Purchasing Super Bowl LII Surveillance Cameras
MPD is looking into purchasing the surveillance cameras Verizon installed for the Super Bowl over a year ago.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Feb 20, 2019
Despite the fact that it has been over a year since the the Minneapolis Super Bowl LII, remnants of the big game remain.
The Minneapolis Police Department is considering purchasing surveillance cameras Verizon installed downtown before Super Bowl LII. Seventeen of the 20 cameras — which were installed at no charge to the city — have been operational since, alongside more than 200 existing cameras citywide. While MPD states the cameras fill holes in its coverage, some City officials have raised privacy concerns.
“They’re the same cameras going into the same video management system as all of our other cameras,” said MPD Commander Scott Gerlicher in a presentation to the City Council’s Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee on Feb. 6. “There’s literally no difference to those.”
Most of the extra camera coverage is on Marquette Avenue in areas MPD defined as high-traffic and high-density with a few located along Washington Avenue downtown. Ward 3 City Council member Steve Fletecher is concerned about the privacy of residents and stressed the important of pubic input before deciding to keep the cameras.
“If people feel like we’re trying to get away with something because we said these are just temporary, so we never had an opportunity for public comment on them because they were just temporary and then they just stayed, that looks very suspect to people,” Fletcher told Minnesota Daily.
While some residents have concerns, others believe the benefits outweigh the concerns about privacy, said attorney and Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association board chair Joe Tamburino. Minneapolis should follow the example of major cities that have adapted large-scale use of surveillance cameras, he said.
“When you have the eye in the sky looking down on areas [where] there’s criminal activity, it makes it a safer city, and we’re behind the times in it,” Tamburino said. “You go to New York, there’s cameras everywhere.”
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.