Who gets the security? In St. Louis, surveillance cameras mostly in wealthier, safer neighborhoods

Submitted by JW on Sun, 03/19/2017 - 20:34

It’s a picture that has Alderman Cara Spencer and other community leaders broiling. Spencer’s 20th Ward, which includes part of Dutchtown and Gravois Park, has no cameras despite several murders and a high crime rate near a park with playgrounds. They include a double homicide last summer.

“Why haven’t we made it a priority to have a citywide approach to crime?” Spencer asked. “What we really need is leadership at the top to say, ‘This is where the crime is happening and we need the cameras, and it’s important to direct the aldermen to work together in this way.’”

At least one local expert suggests the disparity of cameras is based in structural or institutional racism. He said the areas not getting cameras are primarily poor and African-American and don’t have the resources and private partnerships with business or nonprofits to pay for them.