Mother and son petition for cameras

A petition is circulating to bring more security cameras to downtown Columbia. The Keep Columbia Safe petition drive is the result of a parking garage attack earlier this summer.

Adam Taylor knows first hand how video surveillance can solve crimes. Last June he was attacked in a downtown parking garage by teens playing a game called Knock Out King. Teenagers as young as 13-years-old punched and kicked Adam during the attack. Adam says if it wasn TMt for two city-owned video cameras the police could have never brought five of his seven attackers to justice.

That's why Adam and his mother Karen Taylor have started a petition drive for more city-owned security cameras. The Taylors say their petition drive is in response to the Columbia City Council voting against mobile security cameras for downtown Columbia saying the cameras violate privacy rights.

Karen Taylor said, I don TMt believe there is privacy on a public street. I don TMt understand the difference between on the public street and in the garage. They are already placed in the garage. I don TMt think the right to privacy issue is a valid one.

The Taylor family started a Web site called Keep Columbia Safe to gather support for more surveillance cameras in the downtown area. The Taylors hope their petition puts pressure on council members to approve the funding for more surveillance. Dozens of people have already signed the petition including the Chairman of the University of Missouri Board of Curators Bo Fraser.

Fraser said, It seems like a real clear issue to me that we need to do this provide safe streets downtown. We don TMt need Columbia to have a reputation for crime where it TMs not safe to go there.

The Taylors need about 2,600 valid Columbia voters to sign their petition by Oct. 31 to make the deadline for the April ballot.

Adam Taylor said, If you sign it, you TMre just backing that they will be able to put some video cameras downtown wherever the police chief sees crime occurring and be able to use that to deter crime from happening.

The Taylors and volunteers say they are going door to door to gather signatures for their petition.

For more information about the Keep Columbia Safe petition drive, you can click the link below.