El Cerrito to Upgrade Surveillance Camera Network Along Ohlone Greenway - NBC Bay Area
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El Cerrito to Upgrade Surveillance Camera Network Along Ohlone Greenway

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    El Cerrito to Upgrade Surveillance Cameras Along Pathway

    The city of El Cerrito has new plans for an upgraded network of security cameras along a popular walking path. Sergio Quintana reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018)

    The city of El Cerrito has new plans for an upgraded network of security cameras along a popular walking path.

    The plan is to replace existing surveillance cameras that are dated and not operating and add five more along the Olhone Greenway.

    Some residents weren't even aware of the existing cameras but welcomed the prospect of additional surveillance devices.

    "We feel kind of insecure," resident Ambika Poudyal said. "That’s why we need more cameras."

    The original system was installed nearly 10 years ago but hasn’t worked in three years because the company that installed them no longer exists. Now, El Cerrito police Chief Paul Keith wants to update the cameras and add five more along the Greenway.

    "This is going to be a replacement of the wireless backbone of the system," Keith said. "And then it’s also adding additional camera nodes so that the whole system is integrated together."

    Keith said the camera system should act as a crime deterrent and help his department keep a closer eye on the Greenway. After recent meeting with the local American Civil Liberties Union, the police department plans on adopting strict policies detailing who is allowed to control the cameras and any video they record. That would include other law enforcement agencies.

    In other communities, some concerns have been raised about sharing surveillance video with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

    "El Cerrito has a sanctuary city resolution that limits the kind of cooperation that we do with agencies," Keith said.

    Overall residents are supportive of the new system and its policies.

    "Anyone that travels to Europe or parts of Asia, you’re always under camera surveillance, and I actually feel safer there," El Cerrito resident Denise Sangster said.

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