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.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Michael Aschoff says:

    I don’t think that you can be in a public setting and have a reasonable expectation of privacy … well, I have a reasonable expectation of not being under surveillance … MORON!

    1. Chris Stefano says:

      The people of the downtown have worked extremely hard to restore one of the prettiest collections of Craftsman and Victorian homes in the bay area. Then it’s over run with low life from OUT OF TOWN and bad areas bringing in drugs and prostitutes. Having a camera is a small price to pay for the relief that pimps , ho’s and drug dealers are not around when you come home.
      I could care less about the cameras as I have nothing to hide. And it was the neighborhood organizations who made this happen , not the city , who will of course take credit for it while undermining any attempt at normalcy.