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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Smile, you're on Coconut Grove camera

You may have seen antennas and radar-type devices around Coconut Grove; these are CCTV cameras, part of the Coconut Grove BID and the City of Miami's security initiative. It leverages the security ambassador services, BID off duty services and City of Miami Police force by adding more eyes to the streets.

A total of 10 cameras are scheduled to be installed in the first phase of the project. The cameras are only focused on the public right of way, not private property. You can see one set up in the center of the village above the Ambassador booth and the other two booths will also have cameras above them. These are not ticket enforcement cameras, they are only being used to deter crime.

The cameras will work day and night, they have night vision and zooming capabilities, they can actually zoom in and read a license plate. 

The police will be able to watch live streaming video. Right now, the Grove is the first business district in Miami using this technology.  In this photo, you can see one of the antennas on top of the Sonesta Hotel, there are others around the Grove. The project is fully funded by the BID at a cost of $46,000.

"I think the Boston bombing and subsequent solving of the case showed the importance of having a camera system in place, hopefully the community will like the fact that the BID take the community  “security” very seriously.  It’s a major chunk of our budget.  The District has historically fared well with Crime, we feel this can only make things even better on our end," says Manny Gonzalez, Coconut Grove BID director.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One nation: Under CCTV.

Are we safe yet?

April 24, 2014 9:10 AM  
Blogger Patrick Goggins said...

Great! The Grove is the first neighborhood in Miami to become part of the surveillance state! Super!

April 24, 2014 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, those cameras were placed precisely in the spots where crimes are committed...

oh wait.

Don't worry tho, between these and our LED sign protectors, nothing bad can happen to us.


April 24, 2014 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez. They must have money to burn.....

April 24, 2014 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erosion of privacy in Miami's "Bohemian" village

April 24, 2014 6:58 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

All negative comments, so far. I see no downside to having these cameras.

Only those folks who have something to hide, need be concerned.

April 24, 2014 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


April 25, 2014 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

How about we put the cameras in your bedroom, then? Or better yet, we assign one cop, whose job it is to follow you around and watch you 24/7. That shouldn't bother you, right?

April 25, 2014 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now we can be a TV reality show (The old republic "banana" republic"hosted By Sar....). It is good that it is intended to deter crime but lets get real do we think there is some one watching the live stream 24 hours a day. This will be used to find the criminal after the crime. SMILE next tv show candid camera from police cameras.

April 25, 2014 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just 2 short years ago it was just about impossible/impractical to attempt crossing over US#1 from 17th, 22'd, 27th, & 37th Avenues early AM, or rush hour traffic home simply because all those drivers would block all traffic @ all of these red lights. No one was against all those red light cameras than I & I made my contempt known - - - - and within about 500 tickets being issued, presto all those rude obnoxious drivers began stopping per the law! In other words if you have something to fear, and/or make negative comments I'm glad the camera's are there watching U.

Jobie Steppe

April 25, 2014 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if Tony is walking down the street dressed as an escaped inmate, will the person watching the camera know if he's going to "The Price is Right", or will he be picked up as an escapee? Better safe than sorry! Arrest that contestant!

April 25, 2014 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ignorance and trivialization of one's right to privacy that is couched in the use of the phrase,"If you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide" is staggeringly mind blowing. The number of arguments refuting it are easily available with a quick Google search, a conversation with any Jew who survived Kristallnacht, any African American who has lived in America sometime in the last two hundred years or anyone who had to hide that they were gay in the last century.

Heres a quote off a page on the ACLU website.
"The "nothing to hide" argument mistakenly suggests that privacy is something only criminals desire. In fact, we choose to do many things in private – sing in the shower, make love, confide in family and friends – even though they are not wrong or illegal. Who would not be embarrassed if all of their most intimate details were exposed? Fences and curtains are ways to ensure a measure of privacy, not indicators of criminal behavior. Privacy is a fundamental part of a dignified life.
The "nothing to hide" argument also has things backwards when it suggests that we are all worthy of suspicion until proven otherwise. Our system of justice treats us all as innocent until proven guilty. That applies in everyday life – when the government wants to spy on our daily activities and private conversations – as much as it applies in court. The state bears the burden of showing there is a good reason for suspicion, not the other way around. The refrain "nothing to hide" should not be a license for sweeping government surveillance.
Even if you think you have nothing to hide, you may indeed have something to fear. You might fear for yourself.
Living under the constant gaze of government surveillance can produce long-lasting social harm: if citizens are just a little more fearful, a little less likely to freely associate, a little less likely to dissent – the aggregate chilling effect can close what was once an open society."

Using the "nothing to hide" argument as a reason for the Grove surveillance cameras is an empty validation. Do we really need this new toy for the police department, to go along with their new substation on Grand, while multiple storefronts are empty and our parks are closed by toxins or being sold piecemeal to private enterprises?

Is there really that much crime in central Grove athat it warrants 24/7 surveillance?
/serious question.

April 25, 2014 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do realize that study after study has found that red light cameras not only do not lower collisions at intersections but actually increased them? Many cities are removing them and many cities were found to be illegally adjusting the timing of the yellow to increase profits. They are proven to to be ineffectual and simply yet another revenue stream for the cities.
In the few instances where they were found to effective, usually in smaller communities, they were removed because they were not profitable enough.

April 25, 2014 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 11:32 am - precisely - the date is clear, they cause far more harm than good.

@ Tony - please produce every email you've ever sent in your life to the grape, and allow him to post access to it for everyone to see. otherwise, you are a criminal with something to hide. I'd also like your cell history including text messages. Also, if you could list every friend, family member, and business partner you've had for the last 20 years, that would help.

if you are not willing to do all of this, then you a the worst kind of a**hole.

April 25, 2014 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we know if the camera system will not be used and abused by bad cops, corrupt politicians and aplenty sleazy administrators in our sleazy third rate city. Fuck the cameras, I want my right back to be left alone.

April 25, 2014 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The grove just did the worst thing by adding these cameras.i will explain.when you think of relaxing and having a few drinks or want to party and get stupid because life is just want to be able to have a few drinks and fall and laugh.but now knowing that some bored ass cop is going to see me and if he feels like making an arrest for no reason.i will never be back to the grove nore will anybody i know go there.same thing happend in tampa (ibor city) SORRY BUT WORST THING YOU COULD HAVE DONE GROVE.!!!!!!!!!!!

April 25, 2014 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They figured if we can get away with surveillance in Coconut Grove then we can do it everywhere.

April 25, 2014 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It not, if you have nothing to hide, not to worry. Think for JUST one second folks. You're walking down the street being recorded by a camera, not viewed, recorded. You're invisible, no one is watching, who cares; unless of course you're doing something abnormal/aberrant/strange/stupid/irresponsible/dimwitted/unusual and yes, unlawful. Only then is law enforcement activated to ensure public safety. The real problem is most people act out aberrantly many times daily: texting, phoning, bad driving, speeding, rude, obnoxious, alcohol, drugs, just plain nasty & it's called human nature. The most heinous behavior takes place because other humans feel immune because they feel/think/know no one is noticing/watching; even the NAZI's hid what they were doing & so do most of you. You negative folks are so dimwitted as to say/think that walking in public and being viewed by hundreds of other passersby is taking place in privacy except for a camera that could care less. I say you're already pissed because no one is noticing you including the camera. Relax, smile & act civil!?

Jobie Steppe

April 26, 2014 9:35 AM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

I knew in advance the shots that I would take by posting that.

Predictably, the comments all go way out and point to other wierd and extreme scenarios which are not the issue here.

Not one comment explains why the cameras are bad for the general public.

Anonymous writers have a fear of something. Not sure what.

Thank you Patrick and Jobe for having the integrity to sign your names. When I see you guys in the Grove, I will buy you a cold beer! ... That goes for anybody else who signs their name here.

April 26, 2014 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Steppe, we've already covered the fallacy of "nothing to hide" and how our legal system is based on assumption of innocence. You very obviously believe that everyone is guilty and should be recorded so that that can be caught and punished accordingly.
Please read the post upthread at 10:37. It explains the real dangers of a society under constant surveillance.

You are the gentleman who drives around in the big white van with the huge yellow sign advertising Burials at Sea
Are you video recorded as you prepare the bodies for burial? You see, I've heard about people doing some pretty disgusting and illegal things to corpses and I'm concerned that you might one day do something aberrant because, as you point out, "it's human nature"

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him"
-Cardinal Richelieu

April 26, 2014 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My entire post at 10:37 explained why cameras and constant surveillance is wrong.
What nobody has explained is why the cameras are needed other than the nebulous "security" or "people are bad"

April 26, 2014 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Society's demand for security sometimes goes beyond reason mainly due to people's religiosity, crowds sometimes feel they need protection from the divine against the unknown and what they cannot explain. The security cameras, NSA recordings and the need for intelligentsia to "protect" the people play to that religious nature of masses. Next time blame yourselves for not participating in the society ie. vote, run for office, go to city hall....

April 26, 2014 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we get streaming video from these cameras? Then the cameras would go from being security to a tourist attraction. I love checking cameras from Key West and other places. People are so funny waving at the cameras to their friends in other places while talking to them on the phone!

April 28, 2014 8:43 AM  
Blogger Donn K Flipse said...

Privacy issue aside, just seems like a dumb waste of a lot of money.

So when people are asked "what keeps you from coming to the Grove" they cite "security" as an issue?

It hasn't seem to deter Wynwood from becoming the trendiest part of the county.

Was the BID also the body that decided to install those tourist information huts/shacks? They must have cost tens of thousands as well (especially to pipe in air conditioning) and now sit empty and just take up space on the sidewalk.


April 28, 2014 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The brain waves from these negative comments are in overdrive, why? They're full of assumptions, comments that have nothing to do with the subject matter. They're simple minded inventions, worse case fears! An example comes from anon who suggested I prepared bodies for burial's at sea with "HUGH SIGNAGE" on a "BIG WHITE VAN". I wouldn't touch a dead person knowingly & I never prepared bodies; they came in body bags and I transported them out to sea @ a fraction the cost of any other method of burial. Anyone, produce just one real life example, just one case/example where any American/U.S. Citizen in the Continental U.S.A., has suffered from being recorded by a video camera - - - - who is innocent of some wrong doing. I go lobster diving, I go to the Bahamas in my boat, I go fishing in the Keys, I go beach combing or I drive my van with a "HUGH" sign that reads "BURIALS @ SEA - $500.00". Guess what there's cops, cameras and the news media all over me, and you know what, I could care less because I'm not breaking any law(s) and not acting stupidly from drugs, alcohol consumption, texting or talking on my phone while driving. Most of you were born with fear, relax, Uncle Sam isn't the bogie man. The bogie man is in your brain and it's certainly not in the minds of the folks watching you walk by! Jobie Steppe

April 29, 2014 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we can volley back and forth over specifics of any case I bring up? No thanks, but if you would care to educate yourself further on the subject I would like to suggest this quick Google search.
The Dangers of Surveillance
by Neil M. Richards
Harvard Law Review

April 29, 2014 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take your Google search & shove it up U know where. Be specific, say something intelligent about these cameras & comment on your fear(s). Hello, Hello, Hello? Let us see what you folks fear so much! Jobie Steppe

April 29, 2014 4:44 PM  

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