Police Chief wants to keep DNC security cameras

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Monday afternoon Charlotte police Chief Rodney Monroe is talking to city council about what to do with all the security cameras and equipment left over from the Democratic National Convention.

In September 500 cameras, some capable of reading car license plate numbers, popped up all over uptown Charlotte, as did a system called Shot-Spotter than can detect gunfire and even conversations.

"We see a lot of people around her breaking into stores. A guy got stabbed right there on the corner and died." said David Alhalek, who owns a cellphone store on West Boulevard.

He said police already have camped up on his roof at night to stop crime, and cameras just make it easier.

"I think it's great idea. It's not a privacy thing, it's a security thing," he said. "If there was a camera there they would know who was the guy who did it."

But the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union has concerns about police-collected data that can track the movements of all citizens whether they break the law or not, and they don't want them to target struggling neighborhoods.

"They need to be evenly distributed throughout the city.

If you're just going to use them in high crime areas that can very easily lead to profiling," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina.

It's criticism Monroe said he is aware of.

"The CMPD is there to support them not to take on a big brother role," said Monroe.