Missouri college town votes on public cameras

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Voters in Missouri's largest college town will decide Tuesday whether to endorse placement of surveillance cameras on downtown streets.

The Columbia ballot initiative was put together by the mother of a 25-year-old man who was attacked and beaten unconscious last summer by a group of teenagers in a downtown parking garage.

Surveillance video from the garage led to the arrest and convictions of several assailants in that case.

Proponents of the ballot measure include business leaders, politicians and the University of Missouri student government. They say the cameras not only deter crime but also help police identify suspects.

Opponents call the cameras a violation of privacy and say they have little actual effect on public safety.

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