Stephen Ellison

South SJ Neighborhood Votes to Spend $600K Settlement on Security Cameras

A San Jose neighborhood will soon have 300 more security cameras on homes. The community in South San Jose was given nearly $600,000 in a settlement, and they voted to deter criminals or catch them in the act.

Dina Garcia-Gonzalez has been a crime victim 10 times in her neighborhood, from the car to her mail.

"They opened it up and broke the lock," she said.

So when the area was given a $600,000 settlement to help the community overall, she and many of her neighbors voted to install security cameras on homes.

"I'm excited to try and capture who is coming around our neighborhood," Garcia-Gonzalez said. "I'm sure it's several people."

There are 300 cameras available for free for those living south of Bernal Road, north of Bailey Avenue and between the Santa Teresa foothills and Highway 101.

The project is backed by the mayor and police chief. The first community meeting for those who want in took place Monday night.

"We have case after case that we know these cameras help solve crimes," Chief Eddie Garcia said. "If they can reduce crime and help the police department in any way, then it's definitely worthwhile."

Officials say the funding comes from a settlement between the city and Calpine.

It was designated for the area. The nonprofit Safer SJ is running the project.

"(Cameras will be) pointed at streets and sidewalks, being able to see a license plate at night," said Issa Ajlouny, Safer SJ president.

Many neighbors were intrigued, hoping they're chosen.

"With the burglaries, anything we can do to minimize crime, I'm kind of game," resident Kelly Fiorentino said.

Only the homeowners would have access to the cameras. But to receive one, they have to sign a pledge to work with police and provide footage if a crime occurs on their street.

The installations could begin by the fall.

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