Mobile Panopticon – It’s Here!

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Coming soon to a St. Petersburg neighborhood near you: an armored truck that you cannot miss and that cannot miss you, at least not with the four cameras mounted behind bullet-resistant glass, pointed in all four directions.

The exterior is wrapped in an industrial design featuring very large eyeballs and the words “St. Petersburg Police,” all in the department’s green and gold colors.

“This is exactly what I wanted,” city council member Karl Nurse declared, after watching Major Jorges Sotolongo pull up the cameras images on an iPad, “It’s high profile enough you put it in a drug location or a prostitution location and it will discourage the customers from coming, they’ll just keep moving.”

“That is what the police department has in mind,” Chief Chuck Harmon told a city council committee Thursday, assuring council members the privacy of law-abiding citizens has been considered.

Full story and video here:

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Well at least the comments on the web site showing this vehicle tell you that folks aren’t as stupid as the St. Pete city council think they are. And what gets me is that while the armored car is “gifted” it still cost the city $30k to “refurb” it. And on top of that you know there is the fuel, insurance and maintenance costs tacked on. So it’s not the getting that’s expensive it’s the “keeping” that’ll eat you alive. Still, the bottom line is it’s yet another tool to condition people to a permanent surveillance atmosphere. All in the perpetual fight against substances people wish to put in their bodies.

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