Modern Urban Policing and Surveillance

Surveillance City -- Vice Media, 2014, 15:00 --

Here is a frightful manifestation of broken windows policing taken to the extreme. We see a police force largely composed of non-natives to the city set up a panoptical surveillance system in an attempt to combat crime. The city's residents, who were alienated from the decision-making process here, feel as if their community has been invaded by this new police force. Although the crime rate drops slightly, is it worth the social damage to the community?

Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest and most drug-ridden cities in the country; its murder rate is 12 times the national average. In 2011, the city cut its police force almost in half, with nearly 80,000 residents regularly being policed by 12 cops at a time. The state stepped in to overhaul the department, introducing an experimental “Metro” security apparatus equipped with futuristic technologies like gunshot detecting, triangulation microphones, and automatic license-plate readers. As similar surveillance systems are implemented across the country, Vikram Gandhi went to Camden to see how these tactics are working, how residents feel about their loss of privacy, and what the future of policing looks like.