Police First Announced Ocean Beach Surveillance Cameras and Budget Back in June

by on November 4, 2015 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

surveillancecamerasIt appears that the San Diego Police Department first announced the surveillance camera system they are installing along Ocean Beach’s waterfront back last June, along with a budget for the system.

A researcher associated with the OB Rag examined the minutes of recent meetings held by the OB Mainstreet Association and found that the June 2015 minutes recorded a report by Police Lt. William Carter that presented the camera system intended to monitor the seawall, the OB Pier and other locations along the beach.  Carter also announced other police items that would be funded as well.

The minutes state:

“[Police] will also be investing in a camera system to monitor events at the seawall, under the pier, etc., where nefarious activities occur. The cameras will likely be  positioned at Dog Beach, Santa Monica, Saratoga, under pier, and looking toward face of cliffs. More research is needed, but they will report back with more information once decisions are made.” [Our emphasis]

The minutes reflect an entire discussion and series of announcement during that June meeting. They first record a report from Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s office, and state:

“The San Diego budget has been finalized and will benefit OB. During the May budget process/revision period, they were hard at work during fighting to improve the quality of life in OB.

After FY 2016, as a result of Ms. Zapf’s determination to fight for SDPD, $62,500 is going to SDPD western division for the purchase new equipment to enable them to solve issues inherent to the western division.”

And then the minutes reflect a report by Lt. Carter, and state:

“Thanks to Lorie Zapf’s office for the additional funds.

The funds will go to more bikes for this team to allow them access to more area in the community, as well as binoculars so they will have greater ability to see some of the violations so they can be addressed.

And this is where the minutes reflect Carter’s discussing the surveillance cameras:

They will also be investing in a camera system to monitor events at the seawall, under the pier, etc., where nefarious activities occur. ….”

And then the July 2015 minutes of the OBMA reflect some follow-up on the funds discussed in June. Regarding Councilwoman Zapf’s office report, the minutes stated:

“They’ve been able to secure $60,500 for SDPD western division. Some of this went to their HQ for cameras and also other equipment needs, hopefully including cameras for beach area as well.”

So what this translates into is that San Diego police representatives were working with Zapf’s office to secure additional funding for a variety of projects. We were aware of the funds for cameras for the Western Division headquarters, but not for OB’s beachfront.

Zapf obtained an additional $60,000 for police, and it appears that it was the police themselves who  determined that the surveillance cameras were needed for “where nefarious activities occur”in Ocean Beach.

There is no record that we have seen that the full OBMA actually took a vote and approved the cameras, although the July 2015 minutes reflect a certain enthusiasm for them. (Was this just the minutes taker or did it reflect a Board consensus?)

In addition, we are unaware of any vote to approve the surveillance cameras by the OB Community Development Corporation as well, where the cameras were recently announced.  In fact, we are unaware of any vote to approve the cameras by any Ocean Beach organization.

The surveillance cameras were announced at the OBCDC meeting of September 10th and again details were given to members of the OBMA Crime Prevention meeting on Tuesday, October 20.

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