Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making My Home In North Minneapolis Extra Secure With Video Cameras...

Contributed photos, blog post by John Hoff

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.

21 comments:

Tataua said...

I think that with all of the cameras and technology getting cheaper and more readily available to us regular folk, this is a great idea.
And in taking steps to better the neighborhood in any way is great, the cameras help you out NOW, which is most important.

I can't wait to see some of the things you will come across watching the video. I mean, hopefully nothing bad, but just some funny stuff.

Do you have any of your readers-good/bad/indifferent-venture your way?

Johnny Northside! said...

I guess we'll see if any venture my way.

Anonymous said...

If you catch anything on video and turn it over to the cops, let us know how that works out for you.

Gary H. said...

How's about sharing some of the technical details of your set-up, and how you were able to affordably procure the solution? This information would help your solution spread more easily.

Johnny Northside! said...

Well, I think there are two reasons I've shared as much as I've shared.

First, I don't want to reveal more technical details because that could also make my system vulnerable.

But, second, the solution is kind of unique to me because I have a roommate who is a private detective and he does things for my house as a favor. He will install a similar set up for you and if you email me I can put you in contact with him, and I'm sure his price to set you up is more affordable than anything you'll find elsewhere but, well, like I said...

All it cost ME was the equipment because roomie did it for free. He doesn't work for free for anybody else. Well, OK, I can think of maybe one person but not anybody else.

Anonymous said...

If it was cost effective, I wouldn't mind purchasing an infrared setup to put on my garage to watch alley traffic. It would be better than watching COPS on TV!

Sheila Scott said...

Johnnie,
I commend you for the video surveillance. I, too, have begun to install video cameras at my humble abode. My reason was that my security system on my back door triggered one day, the cops came, and because they found no one there, they determined it was a "false alarm". The city, then, tried to charge me a fee for having police respond to a "false alarm". I was told "since no one saw anyone, it was a false alarm." Without going into detail, being who I am, I was able to win the withdrawal of the alarm fee.

Because of that hassle, I decided I needed cameras so I know if someone is there when the alarm goes off. It has come in handy, as the day after the cameras were installed, someone broke into my car. Lo and behold, there he was on camera.

I am upgrading my system, with the assistance of a good friend who has technical skills. But i would appreciate a discussion with your personal private detective regarding type of equipment and pricing. Affordability is important, but the safety of self, animals and property is more important.

thanks!

Folwell Neighbor said...

Having an "in" is great, but if someone is looking for a low to medium cost solution, I suggest going to Newegg.com
Sign up for their newsletter, you'll get a couple emails per week.
They frequently have home surveillance equipment on sale. Prices range wildly.
I'm not affiliated with newegg in any way, I'm just a happy customer.

Johnny Northside! said...

Anybody who wants to get in touch with my "personal private detective," email me at hoffjohnw@gmail.com and I will forward your request.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to get a home video surveillance system can get one very cheap by watching the internet bargain sites such as:
www.woot.com
http://www.1saleaday.com
http://www.dailysteals.com
http://bensoutlet.com

They frequently have systems under $200.

I got a 4 camera system, waterproof cameras with night vision, all cables and everything for $189.
Only thing I had to supply was a hard drive for the DVR recorder, and I had a 500gb drive laying around.
System works great and I can view the cameras on my cell phone.

Anonymous said...

Let us know when your crappy little X10 camera can stop the bullets.

Camden Neighbor said...

Great that more folks are putting cameras up to protect their property, especially being that so many folks in this area trespass and seem have no concept of private property.

I have had cameras in place for a little over a year and it was one of the best investments I've made. I have made it clear to my neighbors that the cameras are there and there have been no car break-ins or garden raids since (there were two prior car break-ins and my gardens used to be picked over).

There will always be daredevils, even with cameras watching, but if we keep adding more electronic eyes to the Northside, then we can dissuade a portion of the criminal population from doing what they do best. Kudos on the camera initiative and for promoting the idea.

Anonymous said...

Grown man with roommates.

Anonymous said...

I too have cameras and a CCW permit. More people should get both of these in North.

Anonymous said...

If cameras worked to stop crime banks would not get robbed

Anonymous said...

my niggas dont care about a camera we shoot first. nd I thin k I finally found out where this bitch ass nigga lives at.

Fernando Severns said...

Thank heavens you weren’t there when the incident with the drunk driving happened! I hope your two housemates weren’t injured as well. You’re right – the cameras are going to be a great convenience not just to you, but to the homes around you that can be covered by the camera’s lens. It’s a good thing you were able to find a good deal on good equipment from the Internet. Now you know that there’s a perpetual watch going on at your home. I’m sure you’ll be sleeping very well at night. I hope the rest of the neighborhood get on the act as well!

Guy Cheadle said...

“Even if crime doesn't go away, maybe it will go a block down the street ” – This statement really had an impact on me. Whether you admit or not, security cameras have a great purpose of reducing crime rates. Because of CCTV, those individuals who have plans of doing illegal acts are more afraid of doing so. Likewise, cameras help a lot in solving crimes as they serve as main evidence of the incident.

Lizbeth Kamel said...

It's a general rule of thumb to keep one's property secured from all types of hazards. I commend your diligence in doing so, Johnny! Would be wrongdoers prey on poorly secured properties and surveillance cameras would only serve to deter their plans.

Lizbeth Kamel @ Pro Tech Alarm

Johnny Northside! said...

You're a spammer but at least you're a SPECIFIC spammer who says my name, so today you win the 1 in 10,000 spammer lottery and get your comment published.

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