CTA promises security cameras at all rail stations by next summer

The CTA board Wednesday OK’ed a $4.3 million contract to equip install security cameras at all rail stations by the end of next summer, with the first being installed at 17 stations on the Green Line by the end of the year.

The Green Line has been hard hit this year by pickpockets and other criminals, said CTA President Richard Rodriguez. The north end of the Red Line would get the next set of cameras at 12 stations. Cameras currently are installed at about 50 of the 144 CTA rail stations.

The CTA will pay for the cameras out of $18 million in funding from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. Rodriguez said the cameras will be “high resolution devices capable of showing facial features and other fine details,” according to the Tribune report.

“If individuals think their faces are being captured when they walk
into our stations, they will think twice about harassing our
passengers,” Rodriguez said.


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  • The poll response choices do not make much sense. If one feels "about the same, safety-wise" would it not stand to reason that this person does not feel any safer at all? The poll lacks a clear choice for feeling less safe due to the presence of the cameras. I do not think that it is going to do much for safety. It may make evil-doers think twice, but that isn't really going to stop someone dead set on causing problems.

  • In reply to eBob:

    Bob, I disagree. If you don't think the cameras will make any difference, then you in fact feel about the same, safety-wise. That' show I feel and that's how I voted.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    He means, "Not any safer at all" is implied by "About the same, safety-wise"

    Hell, "Not much safer" and "A little safer" mean the same, just different connotation.

    No options on the poll allow one to indicate feeling less safe (although I can't imagine how Bob could feel that way)

  • In reply to sargas:

    I would not feel less safe with the cameras. I just thought it was odd that there is no option if someone happened to feel this way.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    My friend got punched in the back of the head by a crazy person in the subway. He called the police because there was a camera that would have captured the event. Because it was not an important crime (rape, murder, etc), the police told him they would not bother looking at the tape.

    If that is what we can expect with these new cameras, prepare for illusion of safety, but not much improvement at all. It's a waste of money if they don't use the tools they have.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I don't have a PhD in survey construction but I looked up the way to pose an 'overall feeling on a certain topic' question in my textbook. The general format is:

    probably not
    definitely not
    no opinion

    In this case the would be replaced by "safer" and you could leave off 'no opinion' since you are asking for feedback where inaction doesn't impact anything.

    So far into the day, people feel a little safer which means people are in the middle. Do safety concerns alter self-preservation behavior in terms of taking transit alone or late at night/early morning? I think they do so it's logical that a camera isn't going to make riders 'a whole lot safer'.
    Because of cameras, I think it's questionable that criminals will alter their behavior (look at banks) but it's obviously better than nothing for those currently unmonitored locations from a security perspective which means most won't choose 'not any safer at all' either.

  • In reply to 20fie18:

    Darn HTML tags ... above should read:
    definitely "qualification"
    probably "qualification"
    probably not "qualification"
    definitely not "qualification"
    "qualification" would be replaced by "safer".

  • In reply to 20fie18:

    CTA buses already have cameras, and that doesn't stop people like Milton Wardlaw from spraying innocent people with bullets. Although I'd say the camera footage is why he turned himself in, but that doesn't bring back the deceased.

  • In reply to 20fie18:

    Well, more cameras on the CTA are o.k. I guess I wouldn't mind my mugging or assault captured on film, but I'd much rather have more actual Cops on patrol on the buses and trains.

  • In reply to 20fie18:

    Yeah, about the only thing this guarantees is that our shooting deaths will be aired on local TV news stations and YouTube.

    I've seen pickpockets in action on Red Line trains and platforms and no cameras catch that. I've seen three-card monte games in action on Red Line trains and no cameras catch that. Matt and vaughnchicago make very strong points.

  • In reply to BobS:

    Three Card Monte is caveat emptor, pickpockets are generally opportunists. Cameras don't replace increased human patrols. People must be responsible enough to use good common sense anywhere (bus/train/walking/driving). You can't prevent the one-off (hopefully) crazy hitting people or worse - just too bad our society competes with itself on how fast it can get sensationalism out to media outlets.

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