Portland City Council will vote on an emergency ordinance (pdf) Wednesday that, if passed, will allow police to use video surveillance cameras on private property. The ordinance has been contested since early May over concerns that it oversteps privacy boundaries.
Portland police say the new surveillance will help in the arrest and prosecution of drug dealers and gang members in Old Town/Chinatown.
But opponents of the measure say the new surveillance invades privacy rights, and that the language of the ordinance is vague and gives police too much surveillance power — this is despite an effort by the Police Bureau to draft guidelines for how the camera would be used.
Here’s some photos from the neighborhood where video surveillance may be used:
Slideshow photography credit: Luis Giraldo/OPB
Do you own a business in Old Town/Chinatown? Do you hang out there? What is your experience with surveillance cameras in private buildings?
- Michael Reese: Chief of Police for the Portland Police Bureau
- Becky Straus: Legislative director at ACLU of Oregon