L.A. Freeway Shootings Lead to Call for Freeway Video Recording


A string of shootings on Southern California freeways is
leading law enforcement officials to urge the state’s
transit authority to connect recording devices to hundreds
of freeway monitoring cameras. Caltrans currently has a
policy that bans the recording of video from cameras
monitoring the Los Angeles-area’s maze of freeways, but
that policy is being questioned after seven freeway
shootings in the past two months that have left four

Caltrans uses the cameras for nonsecurity purposes such as
monitoring and managing traffic congestion. They are viewed
manually and not connected to any recording equipment.
However, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials told the
Los Angeles Daily News that the cameras could help
develop leads in the freeway shootings if its video was
being recorded.

“It would be nice if we had camera systems that recorded
shooting incidents on the freeways,” Los Angeles Police
Department (LAPD) Det. Sal LaBarbera told the Daily
. “These cameras are only used to monitor freeway
traffic and do not record.”

Many of the shootings have taken place in view of Caltrans
cameras, but no one was viewing the cameras at the time of
the crime. Police and the CHP have yet to find a link
between the shootings.

A CHP officer who wished to stay anonymous was more blunt
with the newspaper. “They basically say they don’t care
about being in the crime-fighting business and claim
poverty … even though the cost is (virtually) nothing and
every 7-Eleven has a system,” the officer said. “But
Caltrans – with all their technological engineering
expertise – just can’t figure out how to hook up all those
video cameras to VCRs and occasionally change the tapes.”

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