Currently, Rockford has 22 surveillance cameras set up at intersections around the city. Monday night, the Rockford City Council decided to add four more to the mix.

Given the recent uptick in crime around the Forest City, police have pointed out that the cameras are extremely helpful to authorities trying to put together the timeline of the commission of a crime or an accident.

“We’re going to expand our current system now by four additional intersection cameras,” explained Assistant Deputy Chief Robert Reffett.  Reffett says the cameras are not typically used for traffic violations. Footage is instead referenced during investigations. “If there’s an incident, we go back to that camera, we can look at that camera, we can download the footage. Then we can keep it for however long we need it. But if there’s nothing going on and the camera is just running, it’ll record over itself over a period of time,” the Assistant Deputy Chief said.

I have no problem with the addition of 4 more (or 40 more, for that matter) cameras being added to Rockford's mix. If it can help tamp down crime, or at least aid in the arrest and prosecution of some of our city's bad actors, I'm all for it.

I know that there will be some who will be shouting "big brother" about all this, but I figure that we're all picked up on surveillance cameras a lot more than we realize when we're out and about. And, we have been for years. If you worry about being watched, you should be far more concerned about your electronic devices than 26 surveillance cameras place around Rockford's intersections.

On the topic of surveillance cameras in cities, the most CCTV camera-heavy place in the world is Chongqing, China, with 2,579,890 cameras for 15,354,067 people.That averages out to 168.03 cameras per 1,000 people.

Interestingly enough, 8 of the top 9 cities in the world for surveillance are all in China. London ranks number 6, with 627,707 cameras for 9,176,530 people. London is averaging 68.40 cameras per 1,000 people.

America's most-watched city is Atlanta, Georgia. 7,800 cameras for 501,178 people. An average of 15.56 cameras per 1,000 people. Chicago is number two, with 35,000 cameras for 2,679,044 people, which works out to 13.06 cameras per 1,000 people. (hat-tip to


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