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Electronic Surveillance Products

If I Could

Kelly Griffin

I feel rather safe and secure living here in my neighborhood so why would I need any type of surveillance equipment at my home? Well, believe it or not I have plenty of reasons. Crimes are being committed right under my nose. Okay, maybe not "lock 'em up, and throw away the key" type of crimes but delinquencies, offenses, and sometimes just plain wrongdoings.

There are many reasons that I wanted to look into some way to protect and keep an eye on my home. Last year there were a string of break-ins around my neighborhood. Some important business material was stolen out of my husband's truck, which was parked in our driveway. Secondly, my sixteen-year-old daughter has started to sneak out at night and I would like a way to know when and how this happens. I also just found out there is a registered sex offender living across the wash from my cul-de-sac. It would be nice to be able to watch my kids while they are hanging out in my front yard. My fourth reason would be to monitor sales people and solicitors that come to my house. Lastly, but very important to me, I would like to keep my dog and two cats safe from the coyotes which prey on the community pets. If I could, I would have surveillance cameras all around my property.

I am not rich enough to hire a personal security guard, and a home security system just does a lot of beeping when someone goes in or out our doors. What I need is the Nuvico NVJV-8200 DVR. It is an all-digital weatherproof infrared security camera system (professional grade). I found this particular camera system by "googling" home video cameras. It is a basic system, no hi-tech surprises, and easy to use. It comes with six digital cameras with built-in wide-angle 3.6 mm lenses. These automatically switch from color to black and white in low light conditions. It includes six – 100 foot rolls of power/video combined cable, which enables the cameras to be powered from one central location. It also comes with a PS-8DC (Surveillance-Video.com). It sounds rather intimidating but fortunately my husband, Lace Griffin, is an electrician. After showing him the product he said, "Oh yeah, that sounds easy to put in, we could do that". He also tried to explain exactly what the PS-8DC did, but after all the "alternating current, direct current, transformer, breaks power to lower input" not to mention the "120 volts to 12 volt, 8 amps to DC", I gave up and asked if he could install it and told him I would supervise. No problem.

My husband was concerned about the price. It sales for $2066.00 plus taxes and shipping. I explained that after reading the testimonials regarding this product that I was convinced it would soon pay for itself. I rationalized that with all the thieves we could catch, all the money we could save at the Humane Society, and just the stress that would be eliminated from our lives, that it would be a financial disaster not to buy it. In the testimonials one person wrote, "It actually paid for itself within the first week of use since we were able stop the theft…" Another, "The price was the best I had found, …this is how online shopping should be!" (Surveillance-Video.com).

I looked into "spy-cam" systems and subminiatures but they were not quite what I needed even though most of the systems were less expensive. These were tiny cameras that could be hidden to actually spy on people in or around my house. I don't want these cameras hidden; I want them out in the open to deter the intruder. I also looked into wireless systems, but I had one of these in the past and it never worked quite right. The reception was terrible and the images were fuzzy.

My plan is to point the cameras at the specific points outside of our house and yard where we are having problems. One will point to the front yard and street, one to my daughter's bedroom window, one to the laundry room window, one to the side gate, another to the side of the front yard where the animals hang out, and the last one positioned so I can see who is at my front door. All six images will be available to view (and recorded) on my computer's monitor. If my daughter sneaks out or my cars broken into I can go back to that night and watch the video. When my doorbell rings I can see who is there. If my children are playing in the front yard I can watch what is happening without having to be outside.

I have to ask myself, through all of this research and planning, is this overkill? Am I being paranoid or even, am I breaking the law? The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2003 states that, "Whoever…having the intent to capture an improper image of an individual, knowingly does so under circumstances violating the privacy of that individual, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year…"(U.S. Congress). This would sound as if I could get into trouble if I video another person with- out their consent, but the bill goes on to explain that the term "improper image" means "an image captured without the consent of that individual, of the naked undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of that individual"(U.S. Congress). Hopefully I will not have to worry about recording a naked person running around my property. The bill also explains that the term "under circumstances violating the privacy of that individual" means "under circumstances in which the individual exhibits an expectation that the improper image would not be made, in a situation in which a reasonable person would be justified in that expectation" (U.S. Congress). First, if someone is breaking into my house that violates my privacy, not theirs. Secondly, I don't think that person could be justified at all. I could find no bill, court case, or such, stating that it was against the law to protect my personal property with video cameras.

"Knowing your home is protected provides peace of mind both when you are away and when you are home. There are far more homes than there are police officers, not to mention a plethora of skilled thieves, so it's important for you to do everything possible to make your home secure rather than just relying on others" (Home Security Systems Information). While researching the different systems I came upon this web-site. After reading this article I was convinced that I am not paranoid and that this particular system is not overkill. It has just enough cameras for the places I want to watch. It is easy to install and simple to use. It is just what I am looking for.

The dictionary defines the word "watch" as "to look or observe attentively or carefully". The phrasal verb "watch out" means to be "careful or on the alert", while the verb "watch over" means "to be in charge of" (Dictionary.com). I want to be a "watcher" of my house, my children, and my property. I wish to make my home safe and secure for my family and myself. Technology has made it possible to do this. People, like me, should not feel strange wanting to purchase a product to keep control over their homes. I would like to start saving money weekly and purchase this item soon.

Works Cited

Griffin, Lace O. Personal interview. 3 Apr. 2006.

"Home Security Systems - Information." 6 Apr.2006 http://www.homesecurityinformation.com/

"Surveillance-Video." _Surveillance-Video.Com_. 27 Mar. 2006. http://www.surveillance- video.com/alldiweinsec.html

"Testimonials of the Nuvico NVJV-8200 DVR." Advertisement. 4 Apr. 2006 http://www.surveillance-video.com/alldiweinsec.html#

United States. Cong. House. _Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2003_. 108th Cong., 1st sess. H.R. 2405. 10 June 2003. 31 Mar. 2006. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi- bin/query/z?c108:H.R.2405.IH:

"Watch." Dictionary.Com. 31 Mar. 2006,9:00 UTC. 31 Mar 2006. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=watch


-Welcome to My Home! Now Smile for the Camera!
-To Catch a Criminal
-If I Could
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