Lansing Police Cameras Stir Up Controversy

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Lansing Police surveillance cameras have been placed into 14 neighborhoods around Lansing. They help officers monitor criminal activity, but one neighbor wants them gone.

"Five people got shot right in front of the camera, it didn't stop that," said Walter Brown, president of the Knollwood and Willow Neighborhood Association.

Brown is referring to the camera at the corner of Willow and Knollwood, which is across the street from the scene of a deadly shooting on New Years Day.

Brown took his concerns to the Lansing City Council on Thursday. He says the cameras are not only ineffective in deterring crime, but also violate the privacy of citizens.

"These cameras can see right into people's homes, they can see in people's windows," Brown said.

However, Mayor Virg Bernero said that claim is simply untrue.

"We're not out to look into Walter Brown's home or into his backyard or anyone else's. In fact, those cameras are specifically set up to block the view from going into somebody's backyard, to their home," Mayor Bernero said.

According to the mayor, the cameras are cost-effective tools that help police fight crime. The Lansing Police Department reports that between 2008 and 2011, crime rate dropped in all but one of the neighborhoods that had a police camera.

"We know Walter Brown doesn't like the cameras. Walter Brown is one man and we believe those cameras are making that neighborhood safe," Mayor Bernero said.

Brown is not backing off from the fight. He's working with the ACLU and wants cameras replaced with people.

"We want the police officers to come out into the community," Brown said.

The mayor agrees having more officers on the street is always better, but says his hands are tied by budget contraints and cameras supplementing police work is the happy medium.

The ACLU said they're still working to get the cameras removed but said they don't capture video of people's homes.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ankh Location: Lansing on Jan 10, 2013 at 01:58 PM
    Wow...don't go to Europe then...there are cctv cams everywhere...paranoid much? Frankly, cctv recorders are so in expensive these days that pretty much anyone can surround their home for about $200. If everyone had these on thier home...this guy would freak!! Now go in the closet and put on your tin foil hat.
  • by mike Location: lansing on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:20 PM
    sounds to me somebodys got something to hide.
  • by Terry Wampler Location: Lansing on Jan 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM
    I use to live on Knollwood, I think its great that they are trying to make it safe.
  • by mike Location: lansing on Jan 4, 2013 at 02:04 PM
    I wish we had them in our neighbor hood,We've never had a problem but i would like to keep it that way.Some time the bad guys gotta look up.
  • by Lee on Jan 4, 2013 at 06:58 AM
    I thought the outdoors is public??? If you are in publuc then its not private right??
  • by Ron Leix Jr Location: Lansing on Jan 4, 2013 at 04:49 AM
    The Old Everett Area is content with the camera neighbors advocated for in the LeGrand-Walton Corridor. Although we understand this isn't an end-all solution, it's a valuable tool to help keep deter crime at several apartment buildings. If neighbors were to ask for the camera to be removed, we would advocate for its removal. It's all about the will of the people who live with the cameras. And I ask those who advocate for a blanket removal to live next to these apartment buildings for one year. I think they will change their mind in a hearbeat.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2013 at 03:33 AM
    I think Walter Brown has something to hide or has too much time on his hands. Does have a job? Is he on welfare?
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 185603192 -
Gray Television, Inc.