By ANAEL GAVISON
Miami-Dade County is developing a project that consists of implementing high technology surveillance cameras in several public parks and spaces around the area.
The plan started by installing four cameras that take a 360-degree angle at Haulover Marina. Other than giving a wide and clear view, the cameras send the information through a private signal only available to government entities.
According to local crime statistics, there have been almost 50 car robberies in this location during the past year.
“Although it is important to protect private property, it is also important the safety of our citizens and mostly our children,” said Victoria Galan, public information officer for Miami-Dade’s Parks and Recreation Department.
For all these purposes, the cameras are able to recognize people and take a digital image of them. All the images are sent directly to the central offices of the county, later compared and identified as possible suspects. These parks are the first ones with this system and the county is looking forward to adding more to their list.
This story was reported by Sandra Peebles yesterday for Univision Channel 23. Peebles, currently teaching a class in television performance at the University of Miami, mentioned in her class how she did that story and the ethics a reporter needs to have when reporting. In agreement with what we said in our reporting class about the code of ethics, Peebles mentioned that, when doing this story, the county didn’t want her to release the information. However, she considered that it was significant news to any citizen who is near the area and goes to the park, prioritizing the safety of adults and their children.
Peebles also faced another obstacle with her story. Police said that, according to a jury, the reporter couldn’t say that the surveillance cameras had facial recognition due to the fact that the digital image or footage of the suspect wouldn’t be the only evidence to convict him. Police can use the new system as a tool, but not as the only proof.
Lastly, Peebles told the class that some television news channels have more strict ethic codes than others and that moral decisions some times lay on the reporter.