Live in Syracuse? Want to Avoid Cop Cameras? Check This Out.



How do you feel about all COPS on the street? That's the Criminal Observation and Protection System, which is a network of cameras the Syracuse, New York Police Department has been setting up throughout the city.

In case you want a closer look at COPS, just published a map of all the officers' watchful eyes on ground. The site reports that "the Syracuse Police Department has deployed more than 40 surveillance cameras" under this system "since installing the first in 2011."

The police department has brushed aside privacy concerns, instead focusing on how much safer the city will be. The glaring problem is that cameras don't really stop that much crime. Various studies throughout the years and around the world have concluded as much. The constant presence of government cameras do negatively affect people, though. Police throughout America have abused their access to cameras, among many other ways, by blackmailing patrons of gay bars and stalking women.  

Some Syracuse residents who are under the impression that cameras are an effective crime deterrent are up in arms that the COPS rollout hasn't been quicker and bigger, though, so they're setting up their own. Of course, individuals have every right to patrol their own property. But, how long will it be until law enforcement pushes for a volunteer network of private cameras accessible by police for real-time monitoring? Cities elsewhere in the U.S. are increasingly playing with the idea. Grand Rapids, Michigan just initiated such a partnership last month. San Jose, California has also been mulling such a system this year.

Unfortunately, the above map will have to be updated in a few months, because the department is planning a roughly 50 percent increase, which "includes 10 in the downtown business district; nine on the East Side, mostly along East Fayette Street between Columbus Avenue and Croly Street; and two near Beauchamp Library at South Salina and Colvin streets."

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  1. if you aren’t a criminal why would you care?

    1. You forgot the sarcasm tag. At least I hope you did. The article flat out states that cops use such cameras to blackmail people for legal activity they aren’t necessarily proud of, and to stalk women. I can’t say I’ve run into the former before (though it doesn’t surprise me), but I’ve read multiple stories about the latter.

      IF the State could be trusted, the measures it took to enforce the law wouldn’t be an issue.


      1. If you had nothing to hide how could they blackmail you?

        1. There is a difference between having something to hide, and being a criminal, or there should be. It isn’t criminal to be Gay. It can still cause you a lot of trouble, even in this day and age.

          I really, really hope you are pulling my led. If you seriously trust the State as much as you seem to, I have to wonder what the hell you are doing reading REASON.

  2. This needs to be integrated with the various mapping services, so you can specify a “private route” or somesuch that minimizes exposure to these things.

    1. Back in the dark ages when I had a Garmin, you could import points of interest and a few people offered traffic/red light camera options that beeped at you when you were pulling up to an intersection that had them. A few of the apps have speed trap and red light camera warnings baked in.

      I think Waze is the most popular one that allows for camera reporting.

      1. The Garmin POI you mention works great. A starting point for this…where the data is updated weekly is:…

        1. Poi-factory! Yes that’s where I got it. If you’re device is compatible with it, I highly recommend it. Kept me out of trouble while in Malibu a few times.

  3. Speaking as someone who used to live there, the only good news is that they at least put the cameras in high crime areas. (Judging by my personal experience as a long time resident of that city)

    The bad news is, it’s not going to work, it’s going to cost a lot of money, and it will erode privacy.

    1. This is what hoodies are for.

      1. I expect cloaks to make a comeback.

    2. On the one hand, Im against cameras. On the other hand, the cops will be recorded, so it may actually catch crimes being committed.

      1. These are not cop mounted cameras, and the cops didn’t venture into these neighborhoods all that often when I lived there. You could tell what type of bust it was by the number of cars that showed up though. 2 cars was a domestic battery, 3 was a minor drug bust, 4 or more was a dead body. You never saw one cop car by its lonesome.

        1. And they always drive single file – to hide their numbers.

          1. +1 Jawa bonfire.

      2. I’m OK with cameras as long as anyone can use them. Of course, that is not going to be the case.

    3. The bad news is, it’s not going to work, it’s going to cost a lot of money, and it will erode privacy.

      It will work perfectly. The ongoing sacrifice of privacy on the altar of the false god Safety is exactly what they want. Soon, most people will be perfectly happy to accept no-knock, warrantless searches of their homes – because if you aren’t guilty then you have nothing to hide.

      1. The bad news is that you ARE guilty. Everyone is, some people just don’t know it yet. But the cops will clear that up for them after they are invited in.

        1. Invited in? Where, oh where, is this libertarian paradise you reside in where cops must be invited in?

          I know it’s not in the state (Ill or Ind?) where it was recently ruled by the state Supreme Court that even if a police officer illegally enters your house you must comply and seek redress later? Or in Penna where they just lock you up for filming them in public from your window. Or in Maryland where they lock you up for recording the police officer who has a mic on his uniform.

          1. Invited in?

            Sarcasm detectors have met with lots interference today. Could be the squirrels and their new sarcasm scrambling machines.

    4. “The bad news is, it’s not going to work, it’s going to cost a lot of money, and it will erode privacy.”

      So, basically, there is no good news.

      1. The good news is…is…stimulus?

  4. If you’ve got nothing to hide…

    1. ^^THIS so much^^


  5. When they came for the closeted gays and the hot women, I said nothing.

    1. +nice

  6. Can someone sum up the events of the last twelve days for me? I’ve been almost totally offline. About all I know is that the U.S. lost to Belgium and some tropical storm happened.

    1. I’ve had company for 10 days. I am also blissfully ignorant of world events.

      Kinda nice, actually.

    2. The government has been screwing up and spending too much.

      1. What? But when I left, we were a constitutional republic with legal limits on spending! What happened?

        1. Be glad you missed the Hobby Lobby bullshit. It made me weep for this country.

          1. All I heard about it was that Hobby Lobby won, and America was now worse than Nazi Germany. To be fair, news gets distorted in obscure locations in Florida like the Everglades, where my only access to the outside world was Python Express.

            1. Did Python Express drive Gator Mail out of business?

              1. Not yet, though there have been. . .incidents. Crocodilia out of Flamingo is still going strong. And Mosquito Parcel Service makes up in quantity what it lacks in carrying capacity.

          2. So, without the standard clause stating that if any part of this law is found unconstitutional, the remainder remains in effect, which, as I understand it, is the case for ACA. I can assume ALL of ACA is null and void?

            1. Sure, why not? Exercise your citizen’s veto right over legislation.

            2. The mandate was never part of the law. If it was included in the ACA, it likely would not have passed. The mandate come from the (unelected) HHS secretary.

              1. I did not realize it wasn’t part of the law.

                Isn’t it nice that they let folks in DC write law without the consent of the governed? We live in such a progressive society that isn’t burdened by things like constitutional authority.

                1. When I was in law school, “arbitrary and capricious” acts by government implied something outside of the law. Now, they are the law.

          3. Be glad you missed the Hobby Lobby bullshit.

            That explains why I kept saying over and over, “Now, Veruca, sweetheart…”

            1. My wife saw some activity from the lefties who apparently live in a separate world from the rest of us on Facebook. They were howling and acting like they’d be deprived of medical services as a result of this decision. Which shows how fucked up this whole idea is–why does my employed have a role in my healthcare? Just give me the money, thanks.

              1. Oh no, if your employer doesn’t pay for it, you’ve been thrown into a dungeon from The Handmaid’s Tale and beaten regularly, while birth control dangles just barely out of your reach.

                1. When did birth control become some welfare program for people with money?

                  1. Right around this time last Monday.

                  2. When The War On Women became a reality.

                    It’s true, it’s all true. I hunt them at night with night-vision goggles. I yearn to steal their dignity and human rights.

                    1. I saw women in the Everglades last week that could rip your arms off and serve them up in fritter form.

                    2. I thought Michelle summers in the Hamptons.

                    3. I didn’t see her, but, to be sure, prey rarely see predators until it’s too late.

                2. If only?..

        2. So you were gone since, like … 1890?

          1. It’s possible we drove through some time vortex–we did see a waterspout while driving through the Keys.

            1. You obviously got too close to that triangle thing. Did you see Atlantis?

              1. Not this time, but I did see it on a Disney cruise a couple of years ago. . .through the Bermuda Triangle.

    3. Same old, same old.

    4. Boosh lied, people died.

    5. There’s a gas shortage and A Flock of Seagulls. That’s about it.

      1. A gas shortage? I though gas just cost more in South Florida. Is it because of Bush again?

    6. The funniest thing I got out of this thread is that a Floridian would spend 12 days of vacation traveling deeper into the bowels of Florida.

      That, to me, would be like somebody from Fresno spending a nice holiday in Stockton or Oakland.

      1. We had a lot of fun, to tell the truth. Normally, we go to the mountains but decided to change it up this year. There’s really a lot to do–we snorkeled reefs (and took a glass-bottom boat tour), ate all sorts of fish, went to Key West, hiked and boated in the Everglades, and so on.

        We even did one of those swim with the water moccasins deals. Just like swimming with the dolphins, but free.

  7. Question for skiers:

    When I was a kid, getting your skis stolen when you went into the lodge was a big concern in NEPA. People bought ski-totes, which locked, or stuck quarters in the locking ski racks.

    I got back into skiing after I retired and noticed that people here (MT) don’t lock their skis. I jumped to a conclusion that it was because of the cameras.

    Do people still lock their skis in the east?

    1. No I never do, never have.

      1. of course I also don’t leave them unattended very long and bring them to my room at the end of the day.

      2. Probably because you “liberated” them in the first place, Idle.

    2. I grew up skiing in western PA and we always locked our skis. The theft stories were prominent but I never knew anyone who actually had theirs stolen. More recently, I have stopped locking mine and people generally seem more laid back (Not many locking anymore). Sometimes I wonder if it was a ploy by the local ski areas to get people to pay for the locking racks at $1-$2 per lock/unlock cycle, which back in the day was quite a bit, especially for us in high school.

      1. I suspect this is the case…hysteria.

        We even had our skis engraved with our names so no one else could use/sell them.

        Reefer Madness…I’m so ashamed.

        1. I think a good solution might be an engraving/RFID tag to show ownership. That only really works to prevent reselling if ski shops bother to check, though.

          The odds that someone is going to find a pair of skis that are the right length, type, and with bindings set for the right boot size such that they can just pick up a pair and ski are too low to imagine that other skiers are primarily the.population of thieves anyway.

          1. In CA, if you can make it to a ski resort, you can afford skis. The ski thief population doesn’t overlap with the sneaker thief population.

            1. I can see that. In PA there are actually a lot of hillbillies who ski, so you get all types with all kinds of notions of personal property. Many of us wore army/navy store surplus BDU pants in lieu of special “ski” clothes.

        2. I did that. I ended up giving them to a friend of mine, who after he was done skiing on them used them to decorate a door frame in his house. So, now everyone asks him, “hey, who is…?”

    3. Nope. Especially at mid-mountain and the top.

      1. That would be a real dick move, and quite obvious when you’re the guy skiing downhill, carrying another pair of.skis.

        1. Carry? Eff that. Just step into the bindings and leave your shitty skis there.

          1. You’re going to look pretty funny tryin on several pairs of skis until you get one that fits your boots…

            1. You lookin’ at me?

    4. I don’t lock. Never have, never will. Friend of mine had some nice poles stolen once. We found the thief the same day.

      1. Go on…

        1. Yeah, that story sounds like it might have a satisfying ending.

      2. When you found him, he was *already* beaten to a bloody pulp, right?

    5. I grew up in Rochester NY – we never locked our skis.

      1. Hmm. I see my family participated in too little hooliganism at Bristol Mountain. I’ll give them a stern talking to next time I see them.

    6. No, I haven’t locked my skis since the 80’s and I don’t see anyone locking them in the VT areas I visit.

  8. Forget COPS. What about SCMODS?

    1. SCMODS?

      1. State. County. Municipal. Offender. Data. System.

      2. +1 trip to the mall.

    2. What about SCMODS?

      State, County, Municipal Offender Data Systems?

      I don’t think they exist.

      1. +1 As You Wish

        1. Inconceivable!

  9. I really should be completing my data research for county election policies, but today Reason is really cutting into my productivity levels. Fuck it.

  10. So much for declaring our independence from the British.

    1. Now just turn in your guns and our reunion with the Crown will finally be complete.

      1. Frankly, I’d settle for being as loosely governed as the colonies were under George III.

        1. I wonder if Her Maj could be interested in governing the States directly, bypassing Parliament?

          Of course that might put us in danger of being inherited by Prince Charles, who seems to be a dingbat (though I don’t blame him for Diana. Seriously, what part of “Dynastic Marriage” did she NOT understand?).

  11. You know, I found out quite by accident when visiting another country, that some people there have apps on their cell phones that appear to let them know where every camera is and also, apparently, even where cop cars are.

    How these wonders work, is a mystery to me. I didn’t even inquire of course, since I never do anything wrong, I have nothing to worry about.

  12. But it’s for the greater good.

    1. Government is always, Always, ALWAYS for the benefit of the governors. And actual good done is an incidental extra, for which they will expect a raise.

    2. The greater goooooood….

  13. My brother sent me a copy/paste of a political argument he was having on facebook. I told my wife that I replied to him with “Did the Koch brothers pay you to say that ?”

    And she said to me, “Who are the Koch brothers ?”

    Can you imagine, she goes through her life, doing her job, enjoying her hobbies, interacting with her friends, completely unencumbered by politics. My gut reaction was how can anyone not know who the Koch brothers are ? Of course the Koch brothers have no discernable effect on her life as she lives it, so why in the hell would she care who they are. Now she wonders why I care. Why do I care ?

    1. Because if you pay no attention to politics, by the time whatever is rolling downhill reaches you it’s going too fast to stop.

      But I sympathize.

      1. New Hampshire just implemented an increase in the gas tax. The issue was in all the papers for anyone who was paying attention. Now that it’s a done thing….people are outraged. Well, too fucking late. Maybe you should have payed attention when it mattered.

    2. What? The Koch Bros are the guys who steal your money by force while telling you it’s for your own good, make you buy stuff that you don’t want, and sometimes send their goon squads to break down your door in the middle of the night and shoot your dogs! … oh wait, that’s the government … ner mind…

    3. The Koch brothers are evil because they support unfettered casino capitalism, which is this system that allows some people to become really rich. That’s bad because people with the wrong politics, people like the Koch brothers, may become rich. Only people with the correct politics should be allowed to become rich.

    4. Note too that she’s what I call an instictive libertarian. She’s always worked, has never liked unions, resisted pressure to join LaRaza….hates Obama and all the liberal nonsense…I’ve heard her say, in response to some news report, “but where will the money come from to pay for that?”.

      You know, maybe she just depends on me to keep track of the details of, for example, the Hobby Lobby case, so she doesn’t have to.

      1. join LaRaza

        I’ll have to assume since you mentioned that, that your wife is from somewhere in Latin America. It seems to me that people from all of those countries … MOST people, not all, are sort of pre-determined (for lack of a better word) with some sort of ‘government is supposed to take care of us’ thing.

        I still can’t get my wife to accept that all drugs should be legal. I only bring it up any more when it’s really an opportune moment.

        She accepts most of the premises of libertarianism, but there are a few things she’s stubbornly holding onto the government provided delusion of, like drug laws and how the concept that government actually cannot ever run out of money.

        I’m working tirelessly though. It’s funny when I get together with my wife’s daughter’s husband, who is libertarian and we are discussing politics for hours. The girls just roll their eyes and ignore it.

        1. She’s American, of Mexican descent. When she was a young working girl, she was pressured to join because, you know, Mexican. And she just hated that shit…group-think because you are a certain color or ethnicity. She’ll do her own thinking, thankyouverymuch. Like I said, an instinctive libertarian.

  14. Two hours without a new thread?

    This shit never happened when Postrel…

      1. Didn’t look in the basement?


        1. In a VERY fashionable velvet glove.

    1. Who?

  15. The police department has brushed aside privacy concerns, instead focusing on how much safer the city will be

    Well, not safer from the cops, but we had to ‘do something’, ‘for the children’

    1. So…..essential liberty for some temporary safety ? That’s the trade off ?

  16. Dogs and vulnerable teenaged girls hardest hit.

  17. The glaring problem is that cameras don’t really stop that much crime. Various studies throughout the years and around the world have concluded as much.

    So, Person of Interest is fiction?

  18. Good to know. I drive through Syracuse from time to time coming back from various vacations. I’ll be sure to have my paranoid goggles on.


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