VALLEJO (KCBS) – The success of crime cameras in controlling prostitution has led Vallejo to expand the number of cameras deployed around town.
The Vallejo City Council voted Tuesday to spend $425,000 on 22 more surveillance cameras to augment the 6 now placed along Sonoma Boulevard.
Real-time images from the cameras let dispatchers alert responding officers to what they will find when they arrive at a crime scene, said Mayor Osby Davis.
“A police officer knowing what’s there before they get there, that’s a big help,” Davis said.
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
The Vallejo Police Department shrank to less than 100 officers after the city declared bankruptcy in 2009. Since a federal judge approved Vallejo’s plan to emerge from Chapter 9, the city has started to hire again.
Davis said the new cameras could monitor an area it would take 5 or 10 police officers to patrol.
“We could only get 2 police officers for the money we’re spending on the cameras,” he said.
Davis dismissed concerns that the cameras pose a threat to civil liberties since they will be trained on public streets.
“Civil rights issues usually hinge around whether or not one has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and I don’t think that you can be in a public setting and have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” he said.
Footage from the crime cameras has also proven useful for the district attorney’s office in deciding whether to prosecute a case.
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