Police Cameras Being Installed in Ocean Beach

by on July 19, 2016 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, History, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

OB camera worker 7-14-16

Photo by Adam Ewing

The police surveillance cameras are being installed in Ocean Beach. And more than was originally planned.

CBS News8 reported that :

Monday evening, crews were seen making adjustments to the cameras where there is one, two or three cameras mounted to light poles or a lifeguard tower.

The original plan was 10 cameras but 12 were counted between Dog Beach and the Ocean Beach Pier and pointed in the parking lot or beach.

Photographer Adam Ewing stated on facebook:

The new cameras are going up. Looks like they’re starting at the Pier parking lot. If someone sees them installing the rest along the beach all the way down to dog beach.

Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s Communications Director, Donna Cleary, told the media that a news conference is planned for this week.

From CBS8:

Before the cameras are operational signs warning the public about the surveillance cameras need to be posted. Cleary says they should know by mid-week when the cameras will be operational and hope to have them next week or the week after. They will be rolled out with police, community leaders and crime victims.

The news channel also commented that, “residents are still upset calling it an invasion of privacy.”

It is true that the residents of Ocean Beach remain divided on the issue of these cameras. First promised “by the end of the year (2015)”, and then it was “by the first of the year (2016)”, the cameras have been one of the most divisive issues to hit the village in years.

After the cameras were first announced last Fall, a group of OB residents and business owners formed a group in opposition. Citizens Against Privacy Abuse was formed and began the push-back. A forum of over 50 people was held – with by far most against the cameras. During a hand-vote at an OB Town Council meeting, at least one-third and perhaps one-half of the attendees voted against them. Polls on the cameras here at the OB Rag found clear divisions.

Yet, despite the opposition, many in OB if not against them, didn’t see the cameras as a threat – with some businesses welcoming them. When Ewing announced on facebook that the cameras were coming in, only 1 person out of over 40 didn’t want them – the rest posted ‘thumbs-up’ icons.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa July 19, 2016 at 3:19 pm

What other b each towns have such cameras?
If any, what was the process for community input beforehand , and just how have they been working out, or not?
I wonder if they were purchased with homeland security funds.
Seems like another incursion, another inching toward a police state.


Posey July 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Hi Vanessa, good questions. In community meetings, community members pointed out that Mission Beach had cameras. We were told that Council Member Lori Zadf asked Police Dept. Western Division what they wanted to do with extra money because floor ” Carpeting ” at city hall had been cancelled and there was extra money. They said they wanted Cameras at the beach. $60,000 for cameras, installation and 2 year maintenance. The OB Town Council and OB Citizens against Privacy Abuse ask more than once in meetings with Police and one meeting with Laurie Zapf herself if the cameras in Mission Beach were working and what were the statistics on their effect on crime prevention-apprehension-conviction. In all meetings they wouldn’t say-I assume because they don’t know or don’t want us to know.


Vanessa July 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

How about not turning them on unless we are invaded by aliens….sounds as if there is minimal -to- no justification for the cameras. Better if ms. Zapf had asked, or at least listened to, community sentiment.
Wonder if the rag can find out what is happening with them in mission beach.


kh July 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Probably half of the community’s sentiment is that crime in OB is worse than ever and cameras along the beaches will make it safer (or feel safer).


jettyboy July 20, 2016 at 9:23 am

Welcome to Trump world.


Chris July 20, 2016 at 11:03 am

A common complaint from OB residents has been the increase in violent crime in the past few years. So what exactly is the opposition to these cameras?


nostalgic July 20, 2016 at 11:36 am

How many arrests or convictions have been the result of the Mission Beach cameras? This is one answer nobody in the City has provided. If you feel like asking another question: How many Mission Beach cameras are in operation now? Just asking.


Fiona July 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Maybe put them up and down Newport and turn them on late nights when the bar patrons are going full steam..Might catch someone then thanks to a camera?
What a ridiculous expenditure of tax dollars.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: