Practically since the moment I moved into my house, I have been wanting to get video security cameras but just didn't feel like I had the resources. Recently, I found a way to do it on the cheap with contributed technical expertise and low cost but effective gear obtained from the internet. Really, after the "demolition derby" incident of some months ago, I felt like I couldn't afford NOT to get cameras, pardon my deliberate use of a double negative for creative expression.
You're not familiar with the "demolition derby" incident I'm referencing? I hadn't written about it until now, actually...
Some months ago, while I was still demobilizing from Afghanistan or maybe it was right before I got back from overseas, some no-account with an extensive criminal record was drunk off his rocker and driving an uninsured car that didn't belong to him. He managed to destroy the vehicles of BOTH my roommates who live in happy bachelor harmony with me.
Typical of my cosmic luck (take for example that whole TRUCK BOMB incident in Gardez, Afghanistan) I was somewhere else when something really bad happened.
This was when the residents of Hoffatopia started really wanting the video cameras in earnest. Maybe video of the the drunken smash up could have won a prize on some kind of television program. And the home across from me, 2223 Bryant Ave. N., can be counted on for a dramatic police raid every so often, click here for example.
In the near future, I will have some photos from the cameras to post here. Everything that happens around my house is being captured on video and OF COURSE if the police want access to that data, all they have to do is ask. Indeed, the cameras can be accessed by internet and I plan to let the police access my cameras any time they like, remotely.
No need for cops to even ASK. Did a crime happen on the 2600 block of Bryant Ave. N., nice officers? Feel free to check my camera. Did the crime happen at night? Oh, well, turns out the cameras have INFRARED ABILITY.
Already, there has been a shift in street activity due to the cameras. People who were "hanging around" nearby have found other places to loiter. This is good. After hundreds of hours of practice using CROWS system cameras in Afghanistan, I can discern a cold, gun-shaped object inside a pair of baggy trousers at 100 meters using infrared settings. I can tell if a dog is taking a piss or a crap at 500 yards based on the heat signature. Forget the home safety factor, here.
These cameras are going to be FUN.
I would urge decent citizens of North Minneapolis to rig up their homes with cameras in a similar manner until we drive crime off the streets. Even if crime doesn't go away, maybe it will go a block down the street, and it won't be YOUR home busted into, shot up, or mute witness to a horrible crime on your grassy boulevard.
God speed urban utopia through the wonder of technology.