Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Person to Person: Why security cameras protect neighborhood relationships

Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen, Tribune News Service on

Published in Helping Yourself

Have you ever quarreled with someone on your street? Maybe a neighbor's dog aggravated you or someone down the block side-swiped your new car.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you can't prove your case. No one believes your dog story and no one else saw your car get slammed. Preserving your sanity and some of your relationships might happen via video cameras. Good security cameras might seem invasive to some, but the truth is surveillance is not a luxury anymore.

"I am dealing with at least 20 issues of dangerous dogs in my city," says a mayor we'll call Paul. "The problem is, without surveillance, we can't pin down which dog did what."

Paul goes on to say that he once got very angry with his neighbor over a dog. But, it turned out the dog did not belong to his neighbor. Paul's neighbor had a security camera that proved the dog belonged to someone else.

"The bad part of my story is that it's ruined my closeness with my neighbor," says Paul. "She is so angry she's actually campaigning against me to ensure I'll never get re-elected."

Many senior citizens across America have reported people coming to their doors demanding money. One woman we know says a man, who looked like a beggar, knocked on her door for twenty minutes. This man, who has dementia, actually lives with his adult children across the street from our friend.

"When I opened my door," she told us, "he bawled me out for not opening it. Thank goodness two of my neighbors who were watching next door came to escort him home. Shortly after that, our neighborhood association voted to install security cameras, and I've got one on my porch now as well."

A man we'll call Gary told us he'd tried everything on earth to run off drug dealers. "They were two doors away from me," Gary explains.

"The police were of zero help because they couldn't watch him 24/7. But, when I put up a sign that reads: Video Neighborhood Monitoring, they moved shortly after that. I bought two cameras at my local hardware store that snap into place with a mounted magnet holder. I can watch my home, front and back, from my computer."


Security cameras in place can hold down other types of arguments as well. Four people on a condo board that we are part of were arguing over enacting a pet policy. They kept wondering how they'd enforce it.

A friend of ours on the HOA board said, "We finally got so angry, we weren't speaking to each other. That is, we quarreled until one of us got a call from a security company. The sales rep offered to come to one of our meetings and help us figure out a plan for cameras."

Feeling unsafe in one's own home is now becoming the norm across America. Also, when people order packages, the packages are often stolen off porches. A delivery man we know says his job was in jeopardy because his company thought he was doing the stealing. We'll call him Fred.

"A very expensive package got gone on my watch," says Fred. "The only thing that kept me from losing my job was that the homeowner had a hidden security camera. Thank God, he met with my boss and showed the package was stolen by a young boy who looks nothing like me."

(Judi Light Hopson is the Executive Director of the stress management website USA Wellness Cafe at Emma Hopson is an author and a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.)

(c)2017 Person to Person

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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