Wednesday , July 24 2024
City explores upgrading downtown surveillance system

City explores upgrading downtown surveillance system

A proposal for a San Bernardino Smart City Camera System was presented during a special public meeting January 31 at the Feldheym Library.

City officials and staff were on hand for the two-hour discussion presented by Police Chief Darren Goodman.

San Bernardino’s existing surveillance system, installed in 2009, has approximately 95 cameras throughout the city, only four of which still work, according to Goodman. Part of the problem is the city’s public works department stopped maintaining the system because it was too expensive.

“I think we all agree that the city’s camera system is dilapidated, and that it’s in need of dire repair,” Goodman said during a powerpoint presentation  “Most of our cameras do not work. They were installed sporadically, without any planning, and they were never integrated into the department.”

The new system will have cameras that can be operated manually and will be able to “zoom in” and generate clearer, more definitive photographs than the old system produced. Each camera will be strategically placed and marked as a police camera, making them an even stronger crime deterrent.

Councilman Theodore Sanchez believes better street lights and a state-of-the art surveillance camera system will help deter crime.

The idea that visiting downtown at night is dangerous is a mostly a myth, Sanchez said.

“I go there at night all of the time and it’s not dangerous at all,” Sanchez said. “That’s because no one is there.”

Sanchez represents the first district, which includes downtown: 5th Street on the north, North Waterman Avenue [east], Interstate 215 [west] and East Rialto Avenue [south].

Goodman is also advocating for the new system to be rented, not purchased.

“It’s pretty old-fashioned now to buy the camera system,” Goodman said. “The new model is you lease, and that way you’re not paying for hardware that can become obsolete. The technology upgrades every two years, and whichever company you go with will usually be responsible for upgrades.”

Cost of the camera system, and a timeline for its installation, have not been established yet.

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