The city's 10 surveillance cameras aren't fully functioning yet. But the City of Williamsport is getting close to that reality.
The net yet fully functioning cameras will eventually be scanning and using a variety of advanced techniques of surveillance in three city parks. They are fully visible and hopefully will be useful in solving some of the problems the city has been having in its parks.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana recently had the basketball rims at Memorial Park removed for a week after drug paraphernalia, litter and trash-talking by players was observed near the perimeter. Lots of people aren't happy about that. Hopefully, cameras used in such a situation will help police learn how serious the problem is.
Another one of the city's parks has been the scene of two deadly shootings. Hopefully, cameras used in the future would help police solve such a crime.
Even more hopefully, the deterrent cameras are supposed to be would keep people from committing such crimes.
The mayor wants to see the cameras expanded to include surveillance of streets and neighborhoods police are responding to the most. There are privacy issues as play over such a move, but it's hard to argue against giving police extra evidentiary eyes in the city's high-crime areas.
We are a free society and giving up any of our privacy, even in public areas, should be done with hesitancy. But public safety is a concern that must be heeded.