Detroit heads towards a mandatory surveillance state

Detroit heads towards a mandatory surveillance state

Source: Pixabay.

Imagine owning a business which remains open after 10 p.m. several nights a week.  Imagine the city in which you have your business demanding that you participate in a mandatory surveillance program. You refuse.

Now imagine just calling 911 to report an emergency situation only to be told by the 911 operator or your city’s law enforcement that you’ll have to wait or worse as a result of your refusal to enroll your business into a nanny state surveillance program.

Enter the City of Detroit and Project Green Light.

Boing Boing by Jason Weisberger

Businesses in Detroit that wish to stay open after 10pm will have to join the city’s high definition crime surveillance program. Shop keepers who participate in the program benefit by receiving prioritized Emergency Response Services when calling 911.

Welcome to Delta City, Robocop fans! Install surveillance cameras for the cops or maybe they won’t show up.

Crain’s Detroit interviewed Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan about the program:

Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration is moving forward with a plan to eventually mandate every retail business in Detroit with late-night hours have surveillance cameras tied into Project Green Light, the Detroit Police Department’s real-time crime monitoring system credited with a decrease in carjackings and overall crime around participating businesses.

In an interview Wednesday with Crain’s, Duggan said he will ask City Council later this year to mandate Project Green Light high-definition video systems for all retail businesses open after 10 p.m.

Duggan said the city will start with requiring the camera systems for bars, restaurants, gas stations and other businesses open between midnight and 4 a.m. during the “highest risk” time for crimes to occur. Then the city will move to businesses open after 10 p.m., he said.

The mandate could affect as many as 4,000 businesses open after 10 p.m., though the mayor said the video surveillance systems would be phased in because the Green Light Program already has a backlog of voluntary participants and a shortage of installers.

The reason for the backlog of volunteers is likely #9 on the Project Green Light FAQ:

9. Does enrollment in this program mean my business gets special police attention?

Yes. Enrollment in Project Green Light requires police officers to visit your site on a weekly basis. Dispatch is notified that your business is enrolled in Green Light as soon as your site goes live. In the event of an emergency, businesses are required to call 911, and DPD is immediately notified of the incident at a Green Light location. The run is considered a Priority 1.

Who wants to be Detroit Police’s second priority? Soon to come: the Series 209 Enforcement Droid, a fully-automated system of peacekeeping machine.

Boing Boing is published under a Creative Commons license.

Heading to a city near you? What’s your thoughts?

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