Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action...(oh, sorry, no lights)

The much-anticipated MPD surveillance camera for the 400 block of O Street has been sighted. It overlooks the park at O and New Jersey from atop the Bundy School. The signs indicating the area “may be under police surveillance” are on lamp posts around the park.

“May” may be the operative word here. From the top of the building, most of the park is probably obscured by the tree cover (unless these cameras have some Hollywood fantasy x-ray vision capability they haven’t told us about). It should have a better view in the winter, when the leaves are off.

I’m still a little puzzled by the site selection. As noted previously, the Bundy school has a constant contract security guard presence, and they’re usually out in front in decent weather and would have at least as good a view of what’s happening in the park as the camera would.

The oddest thing is that the park has operable lights that are not turned on. The Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association and the residents of the adjacent Second NW Coop project have been trying to get them turned on, but according to the MVSNA, ANC commissioner Thorpe has not been supportive, for unknown reasons.

I don’t get it. If this is really one of the top four crime risk sites in the city, shouldn’t it be all lit up at night?


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