After assaults, Des Moines adds a skywalk camera system
Installation of about two dozen security cameras in Des Moines' skywalk system was completed in the last week.
Why it matters: It's a matter of public safety and important to the vitality of downtown's businesses and entertainment venues, Polk County Supervisor Tom Hockensmith told Axios Tuesday.
- Polk County and the city of DSM initially allocated $25,000 each towards the project.
- Building a fiber optics network for the system took several years to complete, Hockensmith said.
Driving the news: On June 21, county supervisors approved another $75,000 to complete the project, bringing the total costs shared by local governments and businesses to around $277,000, Hockensmith said.
- The additional contribution from Polk County was necessary to cover areas near the Iowa Events Center that required additional infrastructure, he said.
Details: Some businesses or residential complexes with skywalk access have used cameras for years as part of their private security efforts.
- The new network will be monitored by private skywalk security. DSM police will have access to the footage, Hockensmith said.
Flashback: The Court Avenue entertainment district has had a camera system accessible by law enforcement for more than five years.
- Police have praised the system for its use in investigations and help in deterring crime..
Of note: Recording in public is generally considered legal but there are locations — such as restrooms — where courts have ruled that bystanders have a "reasonable expectation of privacy."
- Groups such as the ACLU have voiced concerns about public video surveillance, saying it can result in discriminatory targeting and have a chilling effect on public life.
Bottom line: If you're in public, there's a good probability that you're on camera.
- That now includes DSM's skywalks.
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.