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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Cameras are nice, but action matters

The Chico Police Department has begun the installation of cameras on a popular walking path near campus that were proposed in February. The $20,000 donation funded project is a sign that the Police Department is working toward creating a safer community for students, but the question is, will it actually work and what took so long?

“The Rape Trail,” as it’s know by students, is notorious for being crime ridden. Reports have claimed heinous crimes such as sexual assaults, assaults with a deadly weapon, stabbings, armed robbery and felonious battery.

Although there are reasons to be skeptical about the actual benefits of these cameras we believe that overall they will work, under certain conditions.

If the cameras are going to deter criminals, when the first incidence happens the Police Department needs to prove they are capable of using the cameras. That is, finding the perpetrator and making an arrest. Therefore, proving to other criminals that the cameras are an effective way of catching perpetrators and possibly deterring future crime. If they do not, it will become apparent that the cameras are just a scare tactic not an actual means of preventing crime.

In addition, we have not yet learned about the capabilities of these cameras. Will they be clear enough to identify people? How often will they be recording? We just aren’t sure of how effective these cameras will be.

Another thought pertaining to these cameras is what took so long? For years students have been taking alternate detours in the evening and night to get home. The school most certainly knew of this and waited years to act.

The path has been called “The Rape Trail” for as long as any of us have been at Chico State and for it to go uncorrected in our time alone is far too long.

This is just the first step in making “The Rape Trail” secure. The cameras must actually be proved effective, and if not, the school and city will need to go back to the drawing board.

Overall, the cameras will provide a sense of security for students and may deter crime temporarily. We will all just have to wait and see about their long term effectiveness.

We are hopeful. One move in the right direction can muster up a lot of change. Student safety should be one of the school’s top priorities, and it is nice to see some action being taken.

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