City Hall

Someone's Always Watching You at Klyde Warren Park, Sometimes From Their Living Room

The surveillance cameras at Klyde Warren Park aren't exactly hidden. They're rather conspicuous, in fact, with their large white boxes emblazoned with "Dallas Police" and prominent placement on light poles throughout the 5.2-acre green space.

But BearCom, which manufactured and installed the 13 wireless cameras, wants to make extra sure you notice them. The company sent a press release yesterday excitedly touting its role in providing "24x7 Monitoring of Popular Deck Park that Links City's Downtown and Arts District with Bustling Uptown Area."

Cameras at Klyde Warren's entrances offer 360-degree views, while other cameras monitor the paths and green spaces.

"They see everything and everyone that goes into and out of the park," said BearCom's engineering program manager Mike Butler before noting, reassuringly, that the wireless technology allows the park's security director to "see the feed on his tablet computer while he's sitting in his living room."

The cameras, we learn, "can even trigger alarms based on preset video and audio situations," which tempts one to streak through the park screaming obscenities, just as a test.

What the authors of this press release seem not to realize is that, while installing security cameras at a shiny new gem of a park is a no-brainer, people don't necessarily like to hear about being watched from someone's living room. Especially people like Anne Shuttee with the ACLU.

"What is being done to secure this and to make sure that images of people going about their lives are not being distributed to people who have no reason to have access to those kinds of images?" she wondered in an interview with WFAA's David Schecter.

It's hard to get too exercised about being watched in a public place where dozens or hundreds of other people are watching you in person, or could be. Still, a bit creepy to think about.