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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97267 Find in a Library
Title: Video Street Patrol - Media Technology and Street Crime
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:( March 1985)  Pages:78-85
Author(s): R Surette
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This narrative describes the community and social processes behind the development, implementation, and operation of Dade County's (Florida) 'video street patrol' program, which involved the placement of 100 video camera< housings along the two retail shopping avenues.
Abstract: It was anticipated that the project would drastically lower the perceived fear of crime among the elderly and simultaneously deter and displace street crime from the Miami Beach retail shopping district. Of the 100 video housings located in the target area, 21 contained television cameras at any given time, although all housings were marked with a sign saying 'police television.' Operational difficulties concerned equipment malfunctions and staffing problems. Equipment problems revolved around equipment sensitivity resulting in significant 'downtime' for the system. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the funding source, required the addition of 'community' volunteers to monitor the televisions. Volunteer staffing problems, however, led to the periodic use of police officers to operate the control center. This ultimately meant administrative, media, and citizen criticism of the project for taking patrol officers off the streets. A total of 135 of the 305 merchants surveyed for the police department's evaluation report indicated they had been crime victims since opening; 53 percent of these crimes occurred after project implementation. A significant reduction in the number of street crimes was reported after the television system became operational. Irrespective of its impact on crime, the surveyed merchants support the project and favor its continuation. Forty-five references are listed.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Florida; Patrol; Program design; Program evaluation; Street crimes; Television communications; Videotapes
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