CPD representatives delivered a four-page report to the city council on Monday evening about FUSUS, which is a platform that allows citizens to decide if and how they participate.
Columbia Police say cameras and camera systems that are privately owned are a great benefit to the community, and that officers often obtain video for reported crimes by conducting canvasses, which are personnel-intensive.
Critics have a number of concerns, and worry about what the cameras will be used for.
CPD representatives also say FUSUS does not identify people based on race, and does not use facial recognition. Columbia Police emphasize that they don’t have the staff to conduct general surveillance, nor would they allow it.
They say they’re simply asking to access information that already exists more efficiently. Columbia Police also say the use of existing camera systems to aid in the detection and apprehension of violators is empowering for residents.
While the city council discussed the issue last night, there was no vote, since it wasn’t an action item.