‘Covert’ surveillance cameras coming to Chicago

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com

Blue-light surveillance cameras in Chicago’s high-crime neighborhoods will someday be augmented by “covert” cameras that “fit inside of a match box” and keep the bad guys guessing, Police Supt. Jody Weis said.

Now that crime-ravaged communities have been saturated with hundreds of blue-light cameras, Weis says it’s time to take Big Brother technology to “the next level.”

Blue-light surveillance cameras such as these one day will be replaced by units so small they would be able to fit inside a match box.

That means surveillance cameras similar to the hidden cameras used to snare corrupt politicians.

“They are incredibly small. I’ve seen some that would fit inside of a match box. . . . These can be secreted in locations that nobody would ever detect. It’s amazing where we’re going with technology,” Weis said during a taping of the WLS-AM Radio Program, “Connected to Chicago.”

Blue-light cameras virtually announce their presence, giving drug dealers and gang-bangers a heads-up to move out of range. Covert cameras keep them guessing, the superintendent said.

“You use the covert [cameras] to perhaps push them into an area where you have coverage. If we can interrupt their intelligence cycle, we will have the upper hand,” he said.

Last week, Mayor Daley ordered a review of the Chicago Police Department to make certain “every dollar possible” of its $1.2 billion a year budget is spent fighting crime.

‘Covert’ surveillance cameras coming to Chicago :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: News