Smart City or Big Brother?

I get a little nervous when government, especially local governments start suggesting video monitoring in public spaces outdoors;

It’s a reoccurring crime in Sioux Falls, vandals damaging art on the Sioux Falls SculptureWalk.

That’s why Sioux Falls’ IT manager says the city is looking at monitoring the area through video cameras.

“So if somebody is starting to climb onto a sculpture, that video technology can alert a staff member. Then somebody can go check it out,” IT Manager Jon Klemme said.

Trust me, not a fan of art vandals, but when you put expensive bronzes in public spaces, things can happen, that is why they are insured. Besides, I think the expense to taxpayers to protect art that is insured with video monitoring isn’t worth it. I also find it ironic that the city would consider video monitoring art when they said it is too expensive to store data for police to have body cameras? Let’s talk about priorities.

The city has also added several traffic signals that move cars more safely and quickly using artificial intelligence.

As I have told people, I haven’t noticed a difference on Minnesota Avenue with traffic flow, so not sure how well it is working. What they do need to fix is the light at 26th and Cliff that is timed goofy all the time, and while they are at it fix the roller coaster ride over the RR tracks in front of Avera on Cliff. Quite possibly one of the worst street repair jobs I have seen in the city.

How can we also forget the UNCONSITUTIONAL red light cameras that had to be taken down?

Think about all of the street lights in Sioux Falls. To save money and electricity, those lights could be turned off at night until technology senses movement nearby.

Now that is a good idea, I much prefer movement detectors over video monitoring.

Culbertson says people are often concerned when a city starts collecting more data, so city officials should make sure citizens are comfortable with the technology before it’s rolled out.

In reality, this should really be dictated by city ordinance and voted on by the citizens through the Charter Revision Commission and a city election. We must take government monitoring seriously. They already snoop in our yards and Bruce has even caught them digging around his junk pile during Project NICE. We pay city employees to SERVICE us, NOT SNOOP on us. If you are concerned about the well being of your private property that is the responsibility of the individual, NOT the city.

*You know what would be really fun, live web feed cameras installed in the City Center Admin building so we can watch city employees work 🙂


#1 Lemming on 09.27.18 at 8:28 pm

The monitoring would be for “public” space? Not your driveway, living room or yard. If people choose to wander Phillips Avenue and destroy the sculpture walk or participate in other crimes, how is “Big Brother” raining on your parade? This seems like a good idea (for most people). I suppose if I was a conspiracy theory OMG everyone is out to get me type of person, then yes…this would scare me. Especially if I get drunk and smash sculpture walk statues for fun!

#2 l3wis on 09.27.18 at 8:40 pm

Besides the fact that you think it is OK for government to video monitor you in public spaces, don’t you think this is an incredible waste of taxpayer money? SculptureWalk is already insured for damages. Bronzes can be repaired. Is it now the taxpayer’s responsibility to protect public art from vandals? I don’t think so. I think body cameras on the SFPD would be money better spent.

#3 SD Vet on 09.27.18 at 9:31 pm

The PD has already started using body cams. Saw that in the Argus awhile back. I think putting cameras in public areas on Phillips Ave is supportive of public safety. Sioux Falls can do both and believe each is money well spent.

#4 Rufusx on 09.28.18 at 7:52 am

FYI – railroad crossing anywhere are a different kind of issue due to the special privileges of railroads under federal law. Essentially – no one except the RRs themselves can do anything with crossings. Bark up their tree.

#5 D@ily Spin on 09.28.18 at 10:05 am

Shouldn’t all police be outfitted and required to wear body cameras before there are any more street cameras?

#6 Bruce on 09.28.18 at 10:24 am

If the operators of the sculpture walk placed cameras on each of their items and they monitored them, fine. They could also hire one of the excellent video / security monitoring companies located in Sioux Falls but using a government body to spy on citizens is questionably constitutional.

This is what happens when we citizens hire / vote for “leaders” who do not understand the basics of governance is protection of our civil rights. Property can be replaced but civil rights are gone forever through ignorance.

#7 Knothead Peasant on 09.28.18 at 11:20 am

Any video coverage from the legislative candidate forum? Curious if Bigot Michael Clark was able to defend his right to discriminate based of the color of a person’s skin.

#8 JKC on 09.28.18 at 7:52 pm

I heard Clark left the forum in a RV with southern plates.

#9 l3wis on 09.28.18 at 8:07 pm

I guess Peters whispered to Saba during the forum she looks forward to working with him in Pierre.

#10 Bruce on 09.29.18 at 8:38 pm

Since I live in Dist 9 I wanted to be there but work interfered so I was able to be there and record it. I do feel bad my real life interferes with my video life.

#11 l3wis on 09.29.18 at 9:39 pm

I will follow by saying that Bruce has given his time at NO compensation recording these events. In fact, he has many videos that we have not been able to show (but want to) on this site and on YouTube. Trust me when I say we want to be everywhere at ALL times, but we also have our own lives. Just like poll watching the SFSD election, we both wanted to be there, but we also both got the feeling we were NOT welcomed and certainly NOT invited. Sometimes you just know that your greatest opportunities can also be your greatest challenges.

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