MARIN COUNTY (KCBS)— Tiburon’s police chief said he believes cities and counties should include the public in any decision to place surveillance cameras on roadways or in public spaces.

When Tiburon installed a series of license-plate reading cameras four years ago, it was among the first in the state to do so. Police Chief Michael Cronin said the town first held meetings with the public, unlike many other California cities that did not.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has criticized some communities for keeping their plans secret.

“You know, you talk to agencies…they’re not interested in making public the use of these cameras because they fear it will deplete their effectiveness. It will somehow adversely affect that if criminals know, that they’ll adjust their behavior,” Cronin said.

He defended Tiburon and said they did the right thing by speaking to its citizens.

Last week the ACLU encouraged all communities to improve ordinances mandating public input on everything from security cameras to drone aircraft.

“We would like to make sure that locally-elected officials and members of the public both have the information to evaluate, not just individual abuses of the technology, but the effectiveness of the whole program,” said ACLU Attorney Chris Connelly.

The City of Belvedere just announced their city will also install surveillance cameras that can read license plates.

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