PIEDMONT (KCBS) – Piedmont is moving forward with plans to install surveillance cameras to record the license plates of all cars that drive into town.
The cameras could be installed at as many as 15 entry points into the city, which is surrounded on all sides by the City of Oakland, as a way to combat a surge in crime.
“There’s a sense of urgency because, in case you don’t read the newspapers, Oakland has a very serious crime problem. And every indication is it’s going to get worse,” one resident addressed the Piedmont City Council Monday night, suggesting Piedmont is suffering “spillover” effects from Oakland’s crime problem.
“If we let the community and the criminals know there’s license plate readers, there’s other places they can go that’s easier,” another man said in support of the proposal.
Critics also addressed the councilmembers Monday evening, arguing, among other things, that the estimated $670,000 it would cost to install and use the cameras could be better spent elsewhere.
“The question really is wouldn’t we be better served having more feet on the ground and more visible presence?” one man argued.
“It doesn’t do anything, really, for crime prevention,” said another.
Ultimately, the Piedmont City Council decided to include the cameras in its proposed budget, which is expected to be back before the Council for a vote within the next few weeks.
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