Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Cop Voyeurs?

...

Spycam Force

Chicago's two-fisted street cops have a new kind of backup: a point-and-click surveillance network tied to a citywide crime-fighting database. (Smile for the camera.)
Wired News May 9, 2005

By Noah Shachtman

On a warm afternoon on Chicago's West Side, a young African-American man leans against the wall of the One Stop Food and Liquor store at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Homan Street. His puffy black jacket is so oversize that the collar hangs halfway down his back. Thirty feet up, a camera mounted on a telephone poll swivels toward him.

Three miles away, in a bunkerlike, red granite building near Greektown, Ron Huberman watches the young man on a PC screen.

"You see that guy?" asks Huberman, the 33-year-old chief of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

"He's pitching dope - you can tell. Fucker."

The corner of Chicago and Homan used to be a haven for dealers slinging heroin and rock cocaine, the heart of a gangbanger free-fire zone. In 2003, the Windy City had 598 homicides, making it the country's murder capital.

"We've gotta figure out where's he keeping the goods," says Huberman, his voice breaking from a bout with the flu.

"We're gonna go on the air" - call for a police car - "and bust him."

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