Surveillance cameras will soon be installed along stretches of Interstate 80 and Highway 4 in Contra Costa County.
“We want people to know that there’s cameras on the freeways,” said Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington.
It’s in response to deadly freeway shootings. Addington says cameras in the cities have pushed gang violence onto the freeways where it’s harder for police to solve the crimes.
“These individuals in these gangs don’t want to do these shootings on city streets anymore,” said Addington. “Why is that? The City of Pittsburg has had cameras on our streets since 2005.”
The city council voted unanimously for the Pittsburg Police Department to be the custodian of the countywide data.
Take a look at the setup inside for Pittsburg’s current program.
Data will be collected from a system of shot spotters, cameras, and license plate readers.
“We’ll have eyes on the freeway basically in real time,” said Contra Costa County Assistant District Attorney Mary Knox.
Several people raised concerns about privacy.
“I think it was pretty clear that there’s a lot of vagueness about where all of this data is ending up,” said Tracy Rosenburg of Oakland Privacy. “When you’re dealing with mass bulk surveillance as a stated 99 percent of the data that’s being collected here at least has nothing to do with any crime.”
“Law enforcement will be allowed access to the system information on a need to know criminal investigation basis,” added Knox.
Caltrans is funding the surveillance project with $3.5 million over three years.