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Candidate Rips Camera Proposal

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Columbia, S.C. mayoral candidate Larry Sypolt says South Carolina’s capital city is botching the implementation of a costly security camera system.

Earlier this week, city leaders announced they were spending $600,000 on 800 security cameras – a system which will cost taxpayers an estimated $100,000 a year to manage.

“While I am happy that they are approving something like this, they are putting cameras in places that will be used later to enforce traffic offenses so that they can generate more money,” Sypolt said. “This is not what we need.”

Sypolt – one of two candidates running against incumbent Steve Benjamin in this November’s Columbia, S.C. mayoral election – also questioned whether the city should be targeting cameras in government-run parks.

“The camera systems need to be put in place with the safety of individual neighborhoods in mind,” he said. “This means you look at each neighborhood and strategically look at how you can cover it from outside elements. Eventually every neighborhood will be covered. The parks are great but do we have crime statistics to support doing this?”

Speaking of crime statistics, multiple law enforcement sources tell FITS that the City of Columbia’s recent crime report – released earlier this week – was full of misinformation.

“They are under-reporting crime,” one source told us. “They are misclassifying incident reports and often times flat out refusing to write a report.”

Hmmmm …

Columbia’s embattled police chief – Randy Scott – resigned his post last week citing the affects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Of course the real reasons for his resignation have absolutely nothing to do with PTSD, according to our sources. Scott – whose tenure has been marred by incompetence and a dramatic escalation in violence – took over the post after his predecessor was fired three years ago for refusing to cover up a major scandal involving Benjamin.

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