OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Two weeks after KPIX 5 revealed that surveillance cameras in Cesar Chavez Park in East Oakland have not been operational for years, the city of Oakland has promised to install a new surveillance system in the park.
“The equipment has all been purchased,” said Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo. “For sure tomorrow you will see the installers at the park replacing the cameras and making sure that the recording devices are in place.”
But Gallo pointed out the cameras in Cesar Chavez Park are not the only broken cameras run by the city. He said the camera atop the museum in Peralta Hacienda Park is not operational, and he said the city has a number of so-called “dummy” cameras throughout Oakland.
“We have certain cameras located in certain places to record illegal dumping hotspots,” Gallo said. “The camera is there, but they’re not recording anything.”
Gallo said the city recently purchased a handful of new cameras to replace some of the dummy cameras.
City of Oakland spokesperson Karen Boyd said by email that the city has inventoried nine parks and recreation centers with city cameras and found that “all have functional surveillance systems and cameras although several of the cameras…require repair.”
Peralta Hacienda Park was not on a list of the places inventoried.
The problem of the broken cameras most recently came to light after the killings of two men, Augustine Vigil and Shawn Chatman on August 30. The murders happened in front of two of the cameras in Cesar Chavez Park. Vigil’s sister, Celaniz said when she asked about the video, Oakland police told her the cameras did not work.
Gallo told KPIX 5 that the surveillance system in the park was damaged in a flood in 2015, but that the cameras were not working for years before the flood.