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Oakland City Council Put Off Decision On Controversial Surveillance Center

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A security camera. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A security camera. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

ChrisFilippi 20100909_KCBS_0379r Chris Filippi
Chris is a proud graduate of Castro Valley High School and San Jose...
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland City Council has decided to put off a decision on whether to further develop a highly controversial surveillance hub.

After hours of public testimony at Oakland City Hall on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, the decision on whether to award a $1.6 million contract for phase two of the Domain Awareness Center has been delayed until early March.

This is a joint project between the city and the Port of Oakland that would feed video, gunshot sensors and other surveillance tools to one emergency center.

“As a public agency, it is our duty and responsibility to take reasonable steps, and implement programs to protect the port, our workers and visitors,” said Michael O’Brien, port security director.

But a large majority of the public at the meeting strongly voiced their displeasure at the idea of a surveillance hub.

“What we just heard. That it’s about public safety, when really what it’s all about is shutting down civil disobedience,” said one attendee.

The Oakland City Council said they want to make sure neighborhood traffic cameras are not included, and a strong privacy policy is in place before the project is allowed to move forward.

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