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Mobile Guard Towers in Walmart Parking Lots

I just saw this clip from youtube, wanted to share it in case you missed it. It speaks for itself.

http://www.youtube.com/wa...

What's next? Naked bodyscanners at the entrance of every Walmart store?



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Looks like more fun than the

Looks like more fun than the old Ford sitting out in the north 40

to everyone who is paranoid

and everyone who thinks this is no big deal:

It's a big deal because these are symptoms of the larger problems in our society that must be dealt with. The longer we wait the worse the consequences of not dealing with them will get. Yes, good cops bad cops, good uses and bad uses for technology, but it's the current trajectory of the trends that indicate to everyone there is more we need to deal with. Why would we be having this discussion? The worse economic conditions are, the more crimes are committed, the more desperate and crazy people become. Simple logic. These are bad because the larger problems of our monetary system are not resolved yet. In the meantime, these are not deterrents, how long is it going to take for people to figure out these things are not manned, and if they do become manned, it's like we accept more enforcement as the answer. This year is the year to introduce competing currencies and relinquish the Fed's deathgrip on the throats of humanity.
Viva la Revolucion Baby!

You're right about the

You're right about the inevitable increase in crime. It will happen if and when people run out of alternatives. I just hope all of the new gun owners don't get too trigger happy. The new breed of criminals could be your friends and neighbors fallen on hard times.

There are good cops....

There are bad cops...

There are good uses for technology...

There are bad uses for technology...

But fearing that the uses of these mobile towers can blow things out of proportion. I usually shop at Walmart after 2AM because my wife works in a hospital. I've seen some very scary people in the parking lots at those times. From low class people blaring music driving by you slowly while eye balling your cart as you unload it. To people shop lifting blatantly, and junkies approaching you with stories about how they need money for their dying kids.

They could be addressing those kinds of issues because they sell items so cheap - and the poor are magnetized to that place. And it's the poor that have nothing to lose and will mug you in a heart beat.

I know the saying that to give up liberty for security is bad - but I don't see liberty being hurt here. I think these are more a deterrant. Sort of like carboard cut-outs of cops instead of the real thing. Because that's sometimes all you need to stop crime.

Just my 2 cents.

Marc, I guess as a citizen of

Marc,

I guess as a citizen of what once was a free country my question to you is how far do we keep going?

Is more and more police really the answer to all of this? Is becoming more like the countries we used to blast about lack of freedoms really the answer?

Also why should the local police, being paid by tax payer money, be providing security for one of the richest companies in the world?

Last time I checked at my local Walmart they had their own security.

It's this simple.

Any store that is in a neighborhood or town or country that requires this much security you shouldn't be living or shopping in.

Find a Mom and Pop local store and give them your trade. When Walmart goes belly up because China (their largest creditor) cuts off the spigot, you'll be glad you helped keep those local businesses open. It could make the difference between living and starving to death.

Walmart will be in business for a long time

They are run by smart people. One does not become the world's largest retailer with decisions made by dummies.

I think it looks like you could push it over really easily

or take an easy shot at one from a long range away. These were not designed for parking lots. I'd be interested to see the "market research" that the company did. More likely they are responding to a government Request For Proposal. Practically nothing is bought by the government without an official RFP on the books. (of course contracting companies basically lobby for stuff via the state Reps and Senators and GIVE them the document to cut and paste into their bills which, when passed, is then pasted into an RFP)

oh and I did notice that it was from last year.

am i the only one who noticed

am i the only one who noticed he said it was Wednesday January 20th? This is the first time ive heard anything about these towers. If this video is a year old and we havent seen or heard about anymore of these towers then i dont think its walmarts top priority to get them for all their stores at the moment

Maybe it's just me, and this

Maybe it's just me, and this really is no big deal, but this seems creepy. It might just be like a cop in a regular squad car, but it also can watch every human being that comes and goes, record them, and monitor them. And it is more permanent than a squad car, and much more controlling and imposing, with the big floodlights and loudspeakers and all. Perhaps one doesn't matter, but doesn't every bad thing start small? Perhaps these will start to spread like wildfire. Do we really want to be constantly monitored by the government, as if we aren't enough already?

AFAIK

Whatever you say...

Whatever you say...

Wal-Mart isn't your only concern

I work at a Kroger grocery store and we're about to receive some new equipment that monitors how many people are inside the store at any given time based on cameras and body heat. They say that this is to tell management how many registers need to be open, but I'm wondering what else this technology could be used for. Very creepy.

body heat? interesting...

as if cameras weren't enough. What ever happened to the manager guy that looked out his windowed office and dictated that checkout counter 5 is now open?

Oh, Lord

There would be no benefit whatsoever for stores to monitor people for no reason. Think about it. Stores need to be profitable and cannot waste their time on activities that lose money for them.

If I were to guess, I'd say the body heat sensor is for security purposes. Such as, are there people still in the store when there shouldn't be any.

From the post I read

this is bad really bad for some reason but no one can really explain why (note I did not read all the post)

It looks to me like a tower with some cameras on it. Since walmart already has cameras on the building putting more cameras at another angle on their property seems prudent especially since walmart has a very high number of thefts, and rapes in their parking lot.

It does look intimidating though, even though all it can do is stare at you at best.

State of Texas to Build 12 Emergency Shelters

They aren't going to herd us into parking lots but ...

Three of the 12 to be built in Pharr, in the Rio Grande Valley, the rest around the State.

http://www.themonitor.com/articles/pharr-45882-hurricane-she...

These are supposed to be shelters to be used during hurricanes. It is inconceivable that they are being built for that purpose. There are plenty of school gyms, church gyms, hotels, banquet centers, etc. to more than equal the capacity of these new facilities. It makes no sense to build such large, expensive facilities to be used only once every 20 years or so.

If you are inclined toward the conspiratorial, it is easy to imagine them as holding tanks to be used before transporting the population to more permanent internment camps. These facilities will be available for federal use while others continue their "normal" lives using the other facilities mentioned. FEMA shelters, FEMA camps, the police state marches on.

I Really Worry

I really worry about some of the paranoia I see exhibited on the DP. There is plenty of actual evil in the world that demands our attention and action. The anti-theft portable observation posts are not one of them.

First of all, I don't believe that they are really manned most of the time. They may or may not have cameras installed.

If they are on a Wal-Mart parking lot, they are there not primarily for the benefit of the owners, but for car theft deterrence. If your car is boosted while shopping you will be the first to report it to the police.

Those portable towers with their flashing lights are a threat and a source of intimidation only to thieves and car thieves in particular.

The City of McAllen is located just north of the Mexico border, and car and pickup theft have been an epidemic here for a long time. The incidence of car theft has gone down markedly since the deployment of those devices. To me they are like phony surveillance cameras only better. They flash!

In McAllen those units are deployed in parking lots all over town on a rotating basis. I have seen them at Wal-Marts, Sam's, and strip mall and hospital parking lots, among others.

Be thankful they aren't using that money for speed traps, check points and other self-serving annoyances.

This is one service that really helps the citizenry, all but the thieves.

Okay I get it, this thing

Okay I get it, this thing isn't an itch on freedom, it doesn't oppress people in anyway. That is not within its designed function. Now... Remind me again when the last time was the government/police used a new power/toy ONLY for its intended purpose, and didn't manage to come up with some twisted "reasoning" to use it for what have you?

Oh right. Never.

People are getting nuked and molested by TSA agents,

or arrested for refusing, the "Fuhrer," Janet Napolitano refuses to back down, then suggests these machines and tactics will be brought to city malls and Walmart, now they are preparing to use "guard towers". There's an old saying, "Just because you are paranoid doesn't me they are not shooting at you."

I'm actually more worried about you, seemingly more worried about our "paranoia" than the real threat from the Department of "Fatherland" Security.

Once Again

Those are not "guard towers" and they are not manned by Napolitano's minions. They are anti-theft measures, they are effective, and they pose no loss of privacy, inconvenience, health or freedom to anyone except thieves.

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean you don't have enemies, but it does mean that you can't properly identify them. Go to the McAllen Airport and protest and I will not argue with you.

You won't see those x-ray machines at the Wal-Mart because it is bad for business, and business would go elsewhere.

There aren't enough machines to cover every retail store.

Walmart Castle law..

It's better then half-life team fortress.

Truth will Come out soon enough.

"Guard towers" anywhere are bad enough...

However, some Walmart stores are located in residential areas. I wouldn't want to be in that tower if some irate homeowner decides to take things in his own hands.

What's the big deal?

I don't understand why people get so worked up about these things. What's the difference between this and an officer in a patrol car? Other than the fact that this thing is stationary, can monitor an entire parking lot, and can't tase you.

I worked at a large retail store a few years ago. We had a huge problem with car break-ins, like 2 or 3 a week. They put one of these towers in the parking lot and it completely stopped the problem. Since then I've seen it in other parking lots around town.

Isn't it a legitimate police function to patrol high crime areas?

Dept of Homeland Security

Dept of Homeland Security uses Walmart for spreading propoganda urging people to snitch on one another if they see anything suspicious, now this? What's next, chain link fences complete with barbed wire?

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

SteveMT's picture

A much better vantage point from which to observe, monitor,

report, tear gas, and shoot from.

Besides that, you're right. Now what were you saying about no big deal?

So

I'm pretty sure that's not what these are for. You'd have to be crazy to use this for active crowd control. The crowd would just tip it over.

Has anyone ever seen these used in any place other than a parking lot?

A prison without walls?

.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

The big deal is that this is

The big deal is that this is a private business. Traditionally, security would be handled by private security personnel and vehicles. This, on the other hand, is funded by you... And you may never shop at Walmart.

That's a really good point

I think you raised the only legitimate objection to this. However, I would like to point out that the business pays taxes too, as do all of its employees. And the tower is mainly preventing theft from patrons of the parking lot, not the business itself.