ARP Doorbell Camera Plan

Eliminate ARP Doorbell Camera Plan before It Even Gets Started

Before they proceed further, plans by some Warren City Council members to install so-called doorbell cameras on city homes using money from the American Rescue Plan need to be scrapped.

ARP funds worth $28 million were given to Warren to aid in the economic recovery of American communities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Warren council members asserted their right to $5 million of those funds, which will be distributed as the council sees fit for use in various city wards.

One of the projects being thought about is funding the installation and use of 400 doorbell cameras, which is estimated to cost more than $100,000.

The plan is flawed for a variety of reasons.

Let’s begin by restating the claim that the ARP funds were provided as part of an opportunity that came along only once in a lifetime. Without a doubt, these millions of dollars should be used by our elected officials to implement innovative changes that will have a long-term impact on the lives of the community’s citizens.

So how exactly do city council members think doorbell cameras could accomplish that?

As cameras can record what happens in front of nearby homes, councilwoman Cheryl Saffold, D-6th Ward, thinks that residents who are interested in doing so should buy and install them on their homes. This will help make neighborhoods safer. The D-2nd Ward councilman Andrew Herman appears to support the idea as well.

Saffold suggests that residents be required to consent to allowing Warren police to view footage from the cameras in the event that a criminal incident takes place within the cameras’ field of view.

We contend, however, that since the cameras are being paid for with tax dollars, all video recordings should be made public. To be honest, we think Ohio’s Sunshine laws should allow anyone who wants to see any of the doorbell camera footage to do so by making a simple request.

Are locals really going to want this?

In a similar vein, Councilman Ronald White of the D-7th Ward voiced his opposition to the funding of doorbell cameras due to privacy worries.

That someone is taking the big picture into account is good news, in our opinion.

White questioned whether the continuous recording by a publicly funded doorbell camera could be regarded as an invasion of privacy.

It’s an intriguing legal query that needs to be investigated.

Councilman Greg Greathouse, D-3rd Ward, calculated that the price for 400 Ring cameras at $65 each would be about $26,000. For those cameras, prepaid service for a year would cost an extra $33,000. Hard-wired doorbell installation would cost $200 per device, or $80,000 total, on homes. Homes without hardwired doorbells would incur a higher cost.

The program will end in a year or two, so what happens after all this money has been spent?

The money will be gone, and the city won’t have anything to show for it, to be honest.

We think that using taxpayer money to pay for this video surveillance will undoubtedly lead to more controversy, which needs to be carefully considered before being implemented.

In fact, we think this idea is a ridiculous waste of money that could actually lead to an expensive legal battle and additional financial waste.

City leaders should work together to establish meaningful, visionary uses of these funds that will enhance our community as a whole for decades to come rather than simply trying to find ways to spend this money.

Read More: How to Turn Off Ring Camera?

Source: tribtoday

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