Surveillance Cameras Approved For Downtown Oceanside
Oceanside City Council agreed to fund a contract to install 54 surveillance cameras in the downtown area.
The contract was requested by the Oceanside Police Department because of an increase in visitors to the downtown area.
Tom Bussey, the department's public information officer, said the cameras are intended to help monitor crime in the area and local businesses.
“We're about 20 officers short, and we have a number of incidents that have occurred downtown. We thought it was a great idea to put these video surveillance cameras up in the downtown area, and then we can see what's going on, especially when things happen,” said Bussey.
Isabella Vansant works at So Cal Trading Company in downtown Oceanside and said she supports the installation of the cameras.
“Someone followed me from the train into the store and eventually tried stealing things. By the time the cops came he had already ran off, and so there was nothing we could really do about it besides give a description,” she said.
Vansant said this is just one of the many instances she has witnessed where the cameras would've been helpful.
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While businesses that have experienced crime in the past support the cameras, some residents raised concerns over privacy.
One Oceanside resident, who did not want to share her name, said the cameras are an invasion of privacy.
“It’s okay for businesses, but I think in people’s privacy, I’m really opposed to it because that means you’re tracking me, where I go, what I do," she said. "And I really think that it could be limited. There are some places that maybe we should have more security, but I think as far as privacy rights, walking down the street, I’m against it."
Oceanside police said citizens should not be concerned about privacy because the footage will not be monitored daily and will only be saved for one year.
The cameras will be installed in areas prone to criminal activity like alleys, intersections, streets and some beach areas.
The cameras are costing the city $497,055 that will be paid through the Measure X budget, approved last year.