Mayor of Kansas Town Resists Use of Public Cameras


Mike Amyx, the mayor of Lawrence, Kan., is determined that his city will not turn to public cameras to fight crime. Amyx comments were directed to commissioners and city officials who gathered at city hall to talk about a memo that outlined four possible ways to increase security in the downtown area. CCTV monitored by Lawrence police was one of them.

“I’ve read Orwell many, many times,” says Kansas Licensed Beverage Assn. Director Phil Bradley. Bradley’s comments referenced the author George Orwell’s 1984, which projected the concept of a Big Brother government watching over society.

Bill Staples, a Kansas University sociology professor and author/expert on the usefulness of monitored video cameras, also attended the meeting. According to the Journal-World publication, Staples told the group that current research suggests that video cameras rarely work to deter crime. Mayor Amyx agreed, stating that cameras are usually used to determine identity once a crime has been committed.

A decision regarding the use of public cameras as well as the other three remedies was forthcoming from the meeting. But bar owners who were in attendance did cite the need for more security and police walking the streets late at night.

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