Tuesday, August 14


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I live in Lancaster's Historical District just two houses down from the Lancaster Museum of Art which sits in front of Musser Park. The park is a rectangular city block in size and it's bounded by four streets. On each corner a private civic organization to which I contribute has erected a camera. The cameras are monitored 24/7.

We are experiencing a crime wave in the city. There is apparently a lone vandal who walks the streets in the middle of the night and at random times pours acid on the sides of parked cars. Over the past year or so, the damages have totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The police are stymied. The vandal has some way of apparently hiding the acid container so as to never be spotted. Not so curiously though, the vandal has never hit a car within the range of one of these cameras. In fact, as far as I know, there has never been a successful crime against property or person within the range of these devices. I say "successful" since the camera operator last year did watch a person walk along one of the streets trying the doors of every car. Finally he found one that was open. But the police were dispatched and caught and arrested him as he tried to start the vehicle.

You'll note that the signs are much more obvious than the cameras which seem to blur into the background. There are some who have protested the opportunity to contribute to having a camera mounted near their homes. Intellectually I can understand, but emotionally, this device's presence ... which by the way is aimed directly at my front door when it swivels about... brings me solace. That even though we never had any sort of criminal problem on my block for the twenty years or so before this guy came to hang across the street.

Some choose to live in gated communities, I prefer the rich diversity of the city. But that invisible beam which the camera throws over my home... like an unseen blanket... Perhaps I don't need it, yet... my VolksWagon Bug's never dripped acid in the night.


pnfphotography said...

Peep... a good title...and needed in some areas...funny I lived in Northern Calif never needed a camera moved to Idaho and needed one as we had such horrid neighbors trying to kill our dogs etc....all because we were not from IDaho.... great intro to a new area huh.... not to mention the three attempted law suits...for having our motorhome in the driveway...dogs...for building a fence... and the kids basketball thing touching the sidewalk two inches... we moved to say the least..lol

Thomas said...

I feel kind of undecided about those security cameras. One the one hand, I can understand the need for them at certain spots (some places in London for example) - but on the other hand it's really "big brother watching you". Hm...

Photographically speaking: the play with the DOF is just perfect. Very blurred, backgroundish camera, but still pretty easy identifiable from its shape.

@pnf: Oh yeah, I know THAT type of neighbours. Can really ruin your day...