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Mendelson Considering Hearing on Cameras

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) is fuming about the city's new plan to centralize the monitoring of its 5,000 security cameras around the District.

But he's not sure what exactly to do about it.

"It's too soon for me to know what steps should be taken," said the council member, who heads the Council's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.

Mendelson is considering hearings about the city's new plan. But, with the Council tied up with the budget, that probably wouldn't happen for a few weeks, he said.

Civil-libertarians worry that the growing use of security cameras will lead to a Big Brother society. The city says it's merely trying to better monitor the security cameras already out there. The biggest group of them -- about 3,500 -- are in D.C. public schools.

D.C. police have 73 surveillance cameras in high-crime neighborhoods. Other security cameras are run by the city housing authority, the Department of Transportation and the Office of Property Management.

Mary Beth Sheridan

By Marcia Davis  |  April 10, 2008; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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