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Surveillance cameras will help police fight crime

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

The director of Public Security, Carlos Godínez, said that by September the city might begin installing surveillance cameras on main streets, at the entrances to the city and in public plazas. In February 2012, city councilor Luz María Ramírez Cabrera, president of the public security commission, announced the proposal for placing surveillance cameras in San Miguel, and the same month the proposal was approved by the federal government. The budget of approximately 10 million pesos, from the SUBSEMUN fund, must be used to enhance public safety, such as training for police officers and purchasing equipment. Godínez said that 4 million pesos will be spent on 15 cameras. He also said he will request local and state funds to buy 15 additional cameras.

According to Godínez, the new surveillance cameras will offer several benefits. Police will be able to devote more time to patrolling areas where cameras are not installed. At the 24-hour monitoring center all the footage from the cameras will be recorded, so when crime victims make a report at the Ministerio Público (district attorney’s office) “the authorities could ask the public security department for the recordings, which will be impartial witnesses of the facts that will be unalterable.” Godínez also said the high-resolution cameras can record activity at a distance and they will be protected against vandalism.

In a public meeting Godínez addressed several security-related questions from the audience. He commented that “in crowded places we will always have problems we want to prevent, and when criminals feel that they are being observed they don’t go to those places.”

During the meeting with sanmiguelenses, Godínez noted that in cities such as León, which uses such cameras, the robbery of a business was thwarted. Guillermo García, from Jalisco, said that in March, thanks to the surveillance cameras, people causing the narcobloqueos were caught. Godínez cited the example of San Miguel’s municipal jail, where 18 cameras have already been installed. The abuse of inmates by officers has been caught on film, and the offenders have been fired.

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