San Diego Police Want 500 More ‘Smart’ Streetlights Plus License Plate Readers – Public Meeting in Midway Today, March 7

by on March 7, 2023 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Map of proposed locations for Smart Streetlights.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department said it wants access to 500 of its Smart Streetlights that need to be restored — and they want to add another crime-solving tool to the network: automated license plate readers.

Because the Smart Streetlight cameras had not been well maintained over the years, the city would need to install new cameras. Adding the license plate reader technology would mark the first time the city of San Diego would have the readers in fixed locations.

This is the first big push for surveillance technology in San Diego since the city approved ordinances last year specifically setting rules to govern this kind of technology in light of privacy concerns.

There are 10 meetings planned throughout the city beginning this week, and the department will accept public comments until 5 p.m. March 10.

The first public meeting near Ocean Beach and Point Loma is in the Midway District, today, March 7, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Education First Building, 3455 Kenyon St.

The plan, if approved, would make San Diego the biggest city in the U.S. to use both cameras and license-plate readers as part of a single network, according to the Police Department. It would cost an estimated $4 million to roll out both the license plate recognition system and cameras. The department plans to pay for the program with funds from the city’s general fund and grants.

According to a map provided by the department, the technology would be placed all around the city, from Carmel Mountain Ranch to San Ysidro. Most of the locations are in low-income areas and in communities of people of color.

The meetings will consist of a presentation outlining the capabilities of the two technologies and their proposed use by the SDPD, including access, data storage and retention, and release of video collected.

The sessions are scheduled for:

Tuesday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Education First Building, 3455 Kenyon St.
Tuesday, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Balboa Park Club, 2150 Pan American Road West
March 8, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., SDPD Mid-City Division station, 4310 Landis St.
March 8, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., City View Church, 8404 Phyllis Place
March 9, noon-3 p.m., Mira Mesa Library, 8405 New Salem St.
March 9, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Bridge Church, 3714 Teak St.
March 10, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

Those interested in attending the meetings are encouraged to review in advance the planned public presentation, use policies and other supporting materials on the SDPD’s technology web page.

Public comments regarding the topics will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 10.

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Vern March 7, 2023 at 2:30 pm

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