With that panhandling ballyhoo squarely behind us (maybe), it’s time for another rousing debate about civil liberties or whatever. This time: those controversial surveillance cameras in Cal Anderson Park.
The date for the first in what may be a series of public forums to discuss the future of surveillance cameras in Cal Anderson Park has been announced. As we first reported in March, City Council parks committee head Sally Bagshaw is leading an effort to decide what should be done with the surveillance technology currently operating — but un-utilized — in Capitol Hill’s central park. CHS broke the news about the status of the cams and delved into the issues surrounding the technology here.
The surveillance program has ruffled the feathers of privacy advocates, to be sure, but its biggest weakness appears to be its ineffectiveness. A City Auditor’s report concluded that the cameras had not been effective at deterring criminal activity and the only documented time SPD utilized any footage was during the investigation of reports of a roving gang attacking people in the park in August 2009.
SPD says that none of the evidence provided by the cameras was useful in the investigations.
The meeting’s scheduled for 5:30, Monday May 3rd and the Miller Park Community Center.