The Redmond City Council has signed off on a plan that aims to combat property crime using surveillance cameras set up around the city. Police are hoping the cameras will not only help them solve crimes, but prevent them, as well.
The plan calls for 37 video cameras to go up at more than a dozen parks and facilities over the next three years. The system will cost the city around $120,000.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott hopes the system will eventually pay for itself by deterring would-be thieves and vandals. Endicott says at least a few citizens have come up to him expressing concerns about privacy. But he says Redmond’s system is far from Orwellian, since its purpose is to monitor public places, not people.
“Cameras now are ubiquitous,” says Endicott “all the stores, the big ones anyway, all have security systems. And there is a civil libertarian argument, I guess, to be made. But we’re back to the balance issue. How do you balance individual rights and responsibilities with the collective good?”
Endicott says the footage is kept on a hard drive for 5 to 7 days. After that it gets overwritten by new footage.