Ever wonder about the large security cameras recently mounted to lamp posts in downtown Colorado Springs? It turns out that the City of Colorado Springs has stolen a page from the East German communist playbook, using citizen “police volunteers” to monitor these cameras and call in crimes that they perceive to have occurred to the CSPD. It turns out that they just had one of their first “great successes.”
On Friday, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the arrest of a 59 year old pot dealer was made possible by the cameras placed in the vicinity of Acacia Park. Here is how the dragnet unfolded: on Friday, a “police volunteer” was monitoring the Acacia Park video feed from the Gold Hill subdivision, when he saw what looked like a drug transaction. When the officers arrived on the scene, the volunteer notified them of another potential transaction, and the police moved in to arrest the suspect. The Gazette article said that the police made contact with the suspect and determined that he “had sold a small amount of marijuana to an unidentified customer.” Thankfully, the police were also able to recover the “small amount” of pot from the customer. No indication in the article what happened to that individual.
This story is troubling on a number of levels, but they all go back to problems related to the growing size and scope of government. This scenario also reminded us of the movie “The Lives of Others,” which detailed the Stasi’s notorious system of surveillance on the East German citizens. William F. Buckley called it the best movie that he had ever watched, and was ranked #1 on National Review magazine’s list of the greatest conservative movies.
We recommend you watch it sometime – or you could just live it in Colorado Springs? Look, it’s just creepy and weird.