A surveillance state is literally being sold to residents in New Orleans, and it’s being sold predictably in the name of safety and security. The guy who owns the digital security camera business Bryan Lagarde is a former New Orleans cop himself. The police department is dubbing this surveillance state rollout “Project NOLA.”
For just $10 a month, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will gladly access your home surveillance camera system, or if you don’t have one, you can purchase one from Lagarde’s company for $295. But wait, there’s more. You can have it professionally installed for only $150 more. A steal of a deal.
“All you have to do is, you can go to a map and click on an icon for that camera in that area and pull up that camera and it’ll give us a live feed from that area,” St. Bernard Sheriff Jimm Pohlmann told CBS affiliate WAFB, adding that access to cameras on private property would eliminate the need for police to visit homes in person. “I think the more cameras out there, the more successful the program will be.”
One resident told WAFB he sees how the cameras could help police “keep law and order,” but he also raised concerns over the Big Brother-style intrusion and questioned whether police could possibly misuse their new powers.
“I’m all for it if it’s all for the good, but things do get abused,” said Mereaux resident Christian Delosryes.
Sheriff Pohlmann pledged, however, that police would never look at footage unless they needed to.
“We’re not gonna sit there and monitor it unless something happens in that area or we have reports of suspicious activity going on in that area,” Sheriff Pohlmann said.
How long before it’s law that residents have to purchase a security camera system from a list of government-approved companies? All they have to do is claim it’s to keep the children safe, and most people would buy it, hook, line and sinker.