Bill said to his neighbor, “Did you hear Jonsey’s place, down the street, was broken into?”
“Yeah, I read it in the police blotter, but they never got in, they only cut a screen,” his neighbor, Clyde, said.
Bill, who lives on the cal-de-sac, bought the latest alarm system, complete with motion detectors inside and out. It included a sign that read “Protected by Electronic Alarm System” stuck in the landscaping at the entrance to his home. His system also included five security cameras that monitored everything on the outside of his home even the squirrels and Bill’s cat that lived next door. Bill paid a fortune for the high-end system that came with a handsome monthly bill.
Clyde was not as worried, he had a plan. As many folks do nowadays he Googled security systems and happened upon a website that sold security signs, stickers for your windows and fake security cameras. He bought a couple of signs and a window sticker and told his wife, who was as worried as Bill about a break-in, that the signs would deter anyone staking out their house.
Deterrence comes in many forms, an alarm system, a fake alarm system, beware of dog sign or just keeping the yard well lit.
A recent battle over spending money for video cameras on school bus stop bars to deter or ticket cars or trucks that pass a school bus illegally, has bogged down.
It all boils down to money. Would a video system be revenue neutral? Would the county make enough money from traffic tickets to cover the cost of installing, maintaining and managing citations through the courts?
I believe that not everything in government nowadays has to be revenue neutral. There are many things that cannot be weighed by how much they cost. Once a crook sees a sign in a yard that indicates the property is protected, he moves on whether it’s a $5,000 security system or a $10 sign.
Once an anxious driver passes a school bus illegally and is cited for it through a video camera system, it is more likely than not, that he will not pass a school bus illegally again. It is also likely that when others hear of neighbors getting tickets for illegal driving that the proliferation of citations will be a deterrent for future illegal passing of school buses.
It is not about breaking even or being revenue equal, but about the safety of our children. What is the value of a child’s life?
Why does our society base everything on cost? Even if it cost us a few dollars on our taxes, would not that be worth it? It really does not matter what the quality of the system is or how efficient it is. Clyde gets the same results as does Bill.