Press Conference on Surveillance Cameras in OB Today – Thurs. at 11:30 a.m.

by on July 21, 2016 · 13 comments

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

Here is the Press Release for a Press Conference on the surveillance cameras installed in Ocean Beach.

OB Crime Fighting Cameras Set to Go Live

What: The City of San Diego has installed cameras in Ocean Beach near the ocean and parking lots to ward off potential criminals. The cameras are on a loop that is not monitored or reviewed unless a crime is reported. This will give law enforcement a valuable crime fighting tool to provide evidence and allow prosecutors to go after criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

When: Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:30 AM

Where: Ocean Beach – at the intersection of Newport Ave and Abbott Street.

Who: Councilmember Lorie Zapf, District 2
San Diego Police Department
City Staff and Ocean Beach Residents

Why: The request for the cameras to be installed was made by the San Diego Police Department and supported by the Ocean Beach Town Council to deter crime. Councilmember Zapf secured the funding and the cameras will be live within the next few days.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Groucho July 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

How can the public view the camera feed? Who is watching the police? Are there any standards that the police have to follow? If so, how are these standards monitored and guaranteed/enforced? How often are the police camera procedures reviewed? What are the procedures (conditions) to take down the cameras? If the rationale for putting up the cameras don’t come to fruition (crime rates not directly effected), than have the cameras been a waste? If so, than what?


Marx July 21, 2016 at 10:38 am

Geez, can’t you just trust the police to do what’s best for you? You ask too many damn questions.


Tara July 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

Excellent questions, groucho.Answers will hopefully be supplied today, some based on what has happened with the cameras in mission beach. Maybe the issue also of why just our two communities were targeted with this incursion, and why the utter lack of response until today.


Geoff Page July 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

The police department cited two incidents at the Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting in December 2015 that they felt justified the cameras. One was a slashing of young man and the other was a very questionable “possible” sexual assault. I tried to find out more about the slashing incident by contacting Officer Suriwilo: here is how that went:

Officer Surwilo,

During your presentation at the OB Planning Board on Thursday you mentioned an incident where a man in OB was slashed in the neck just missing the carotid artery. Another person, a woman with white hair, also spoke about a similar incident involving her son, I’m assuming they were the same. I’ve been trying to find news accounts of this incident and all I can find is an incident in April of this year when a 27-year-old man was slashed. Is this the correct incident? If not, can you give me the particulars or point me where I need to go to get the details of what happened? I appreciate any assistance you are able to offer. Thanks.

12/7/15 response

There were two separate incidents. One was on Newport Ave by the bars the other was along the water/park area. The Newport Ave one made the headline news the other one was not in the news most likely because all parties involved were not willing to cooperate with the investigation so it did not make much of a store for the news to cover and the victim had no interest in discussing it with anyone.

12/7/15 my second message

Thank you for that quick response. Could you give me a date for the one that made the news so I could read about it? If you don’t know the exact date a time reference would be good. Thanks again.

12/8/15 second response

One was December 5 on the 4600 block and the other was November 20 on the 5000 block of Newport.

I was clearly interested in the specifics of the incident and Officer Surwilo clearly did not feel he needed to provide me anything but the minimum of information. Despite researching the incident, I could not find anything further on it. As he said, it may not have made the news but certainly the SDPD could have provided the information I was seeking and would not. I believe the slashing incident, from what little did find, may have been an altercation initiated by the young man who was slashed. The assault incident was never proven to be an assault, it may have been an consensual encounter. If anyone has any more information about either incident, please contribute here.

My point is that we heard very unspecific stories designed to scare people into getting behind these cameras. Fear is a common motivator. I wonder if this came up today at the press conference?


triggerfinger July 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm

The only crime report that shows up on 11/20 in that area was listed as a rape. I do recall an incident reported about two apparently homeless involved, and the “victim” who was unconcious during refused to press charges. There have been other stabbing incidents since, at the beachfront parks, and one at the foot of Newport.


kh July 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Stabbings? I heard it was for the lost children epidemic. For the lifeguards. Because everybody loves the lifeguards.


Geoff Page July 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm

They mentioned lost children and the lifeguards too, they tried to hit every emotional button with no real substantiation.


Fred July 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Feeble reasons for a expenditure that should have been thought through and now is being defended at it seems to be a done deal.
Surely we can collectively do better than pushing the “fear” button.


Byron Wear July 21, 2016 at 6:08 pm

I believe that the camera program for Ocean Beach will provide additional measures of safety for the general public resulting in attracting residents and visitors including families to Ocean Beach helping the mom and pop retail establishments.


Geoff Page July 22, 2016 at 11:31 am

Byron, are working in advertising and public relations now? Do you have a retainer with the Mainstreet organization as well as McMillin? Here is what you said about the breweries:

The variety of Ocean Beach beer tasting rooms are all good for the long term pedestrian traffic on Newport and Voltaire, attracting customers from throughout the Peninsula community to the adjacent cafes and mom and pop retail shops.

I think you are plagiarizing yourself. Shilling for the breweries is one thing but backing these cameras is something else entirely.


Byron Wear July 22, 2016 at 3:11 pm


I have no ad or PR contracts. Rather, I am speaking as a 52 year resident, former OB Lifeguard (1975-78) and community volunteer.

It’s simple. I believe that a safe Ocean Beach attracts more shoppers, visitors and residents.

The limited narrow opposition to the cameras did not prevail. A majority of the Ocean Beach Town Council was supportive in the straw poll at their meeting. The OB Merchants did not take a formal position. Cameras are becoming a commonplace in public spaces. The cameras are now installed. So let’s monitor the OB camera program for the next year and review the facts at that time.

Are you still up for a craft beer on me?


Donny July 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm

So my eyes must be failing me. That wasn’t Julie Klein of OBMA standing beside Zapf at the press conference? The same OBMA that the police so kindly pow-wowed with at their morning meetings, while snubbing meetings by residents opposed to the cameras?


Debbie July 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

The only way to improve safety is to have live bodies present. Cameras do not protect. They only assist in the investigation should something “bad” happen.


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