Councilman Ed Harris announced at the “Respect OB” BBQ held Saturday for first responders that there will be a surveillance camera installed on top of the parking lot Police Trailer to combat crime at the foot of Newport Avenue.
Harris said the security camera will be installed within a couple weeks. It has been donated to the the community of OB by unknown sources and will be operated by a private security company that will also help with patrols. Harris said:
“It’s just a thank you from the public.”
The foot of Newport and the OB Wall are considered by police to be “high-crime areas”.
“It’s not illegal to be homeless,” Harris said, “but you have to respect OB.”
Ever since the early and late Sixties, the foot of Newport Avenue has been a hotspot for reported nuisance crimes and drug dealing. And now local merchants and others are cheering on this new tool for law enforcement. San Diego police officer Efrain Peregrina told the CBS8:
“That way we can keep eyes more on our regular local ones that are always committing the crimes at night – so it’s good for the community.”
Not everyone is cheering the installation of the surveillance camera, however. Certainly not those in the community who have historically opposed the presence of the controversial trailer.
And certainly not those within the hip-surf bohemian village of the Land of OB who hail from more of a libertarian slant on life – who perceive this new surveillance camera as an intrusion into the public space of the community.
Plus numerous questions are also unaddressed. Who donated the camera? Which private security company is involved? Who will be monitoring the cameras? Who is paying the monitors? Will they be 24/7?
The Orwellian nature of the camera is not being addressed, either.