Vargas: “Big Brother” a welcome addition to deter crime in local parks


Everywhere you go these days there are surveillance cameras.

The mini-mart, ATM machine, parking structures and even outside our own homes.

The use of cameras has been very effective at capturing suspects wanted for crimes.

You can see these images on the news every day. Robbery suspects assaulting a clerk, muggers accosting victims at the ATM machine and, of course, package thieves stealing the latest delivery to your home.

There are few who would complain or have an issue with business and property owners protecting themselves and their patrons by using this technology.

I have to admit, I feel a certain level of security knowing someone is recording and watching as I go about my business.

Litigators have even made good arguments about negligent security when CCTV cameras have not been installed. If the technology exists, why aren’t you using it to ensure the safety and security of your location?

My church is even looking into purchasing a system after numerous incidents of theft, trespassing and vandalism.

So what’s the problem?

It seems some civil libertarians have an issue with public areas being monitored by cameras.

According to some, it is just another example of “Big Brother” watching over your every movement.

In this case, I think the complainers have gotten it all wrong.

The No. 1 function of government is to ensure you are safe and protected.

According to civil libertarians and the ACLU, somehow the same technology that is being used by a large segment of the private sector should not be used by the government.

I don’t get it. Don’t the police have a responsibility to use every means to ensure public safety?

Case in point: Anaheim recently approved the installation of cameras in a few public parks. The installation of the cameras was, in large part, motivated by the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl by gang members.

Critics have described this action as another stepping stone in creating an Orwellian society, referencing George Orwell’s classic book “1984.”

I just don’t see it that way.

Monitoring activity in public places to help ensure public safety is “Big Brother,” but it’s the big brother you hope is around when you’re about to get your butt kicked by the schoolyard bully.

I don’t see how one complains when the average citizen aims their camera at the same park with absolutely no concerns. They also have no vested interest in making sure things remain safe.

The law is quite clear: There is no expectation of privacy in public places, especially parks, government buildings or sidewalks. By putting in cameras, the police are just trying to make all of us feel safer.

As long as there are policies and procedures in place and safeguards to make sure they are followed, I don’t think the average person has anything to worry about. The police don’t care what you have in your picnic basket.

By the way, did any of you happen to notice the bombing suspect in New York was captured on video planting his bombs?

Seems no one has had a problem with that activity being recorded.

Surveillance camera critic response … crickets.