Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Video Guards

Police: DeKalb Inmate Hurt Trying To Escape - Atlanta News Story - WGCL Atlanta

A prisoner tied bed sheets together and climbed out of jail. As it was the sheets were not long enough and he fell and hurt himself and he got captured again. The area where he was climbing out of confinement was not directly observed by guards, only video cameras.

Video cameras are very good tools for documenting things that happen, but they are not good for exercising direct control over people. A bunch of bed sheets long enough to be used as a rope, may be missed by someone watching a video image, but an officer on site would almost certainly noticed them right away and prevented the escape attempt.

Video cameras miss things, distort images and only see from one angle at a time. They also have to be monitored by a human who is paying attention to the image. It can be difficult to watch an image on a television screen for long periods of time when the image is generally uninteresting and boring. Often those watching have to view many screens at once which makes it more difficult to carefully observe specific individuals. Real guards are better than virtual ones, that's what the SGT Says.

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