Philliness a la 1984
Two questions on Tuesday's primary ballot will ask voters whether they favor using video surveillance in public areas to deter and solve crimes, and whether they favor creating a new city ethics board.
City Councilman Darrell Clarke brought the idea of video surveillance to Council's attention, based in part on the reported success of programs in Baltimore and Chicago.
Tuesday's referendum would amend the city charter to say that citizens approve of video surveillance as a crime-fighting tool but want it used in a way that protects civil liberties and respects privacy rights.
Passage of the referendum would not require the use of video surveillance by the city. It's unclear whether the Police Department would install the cameras.
The referendum on creating an ethics board is among the last reform measures that followed the federal corruption investigation that led to a dozen indictments in 2004, and was highlighted by the discovery by police of an FBI bug in Mayor Street's office.
The TrekMedic muses:
Just as "Operation Safe Streets" did nothing more than move the drug dealers and murdering thugs out of Kensington and into other parts of the city, this new initiative will do nothing to stop the murder rate in Philadelphia.