CARLSBAD – Some call it improving security, others calling it surveillance, but in any case, increasing the number of government cameras in public is a growing trend.
Carlsbad is no different as David Graham, the city’s chief innovation officer, and Carlsbad Police Chief Neil Gallucci on October 15 announced to city council their plans to add more security cameras, including drones, in public facilities.
Both, however, reported a contract for roving security guards throughout the city at the Three Libraries, City Hall, Community Gardens, Pine Avenue Community, Alga Norte and Holiday Parks, city ââsponsored events and high traffic areas of the village.
âThe drone cameras would be part of the public safety camera system, just different from our fixed cameras,â said Gallucci. âWe have a separate policy for drones and body cameras, because there are nuances. “
Scott Chadwick, City Manager, said due to national and other events the goal is to ensure the protection of the city and its residents. Graham said one of the goals is to proactively adopt a more cohesive approach to security at city facilities, which has not currently been implemented.
A recent incident at the Dove Library, where an elderly woman was attacked and her car stolen, resulted in a shift in perception, Gallucci said. Police arrested the alleged assailant and recovered the car, he added.
âWhen things like this happen in public buildings, it can change the perception of crime and the fear of crime,â said Gallucci.
As for technology, the city has approved a police policy in 2017 for a public security camera system. The policy allows, with the approval of the police chief, the installation of cameras in high value or high risk areas based on investigations.
Gallucci said that in a park, for example, cameras would monitor the playing fields, while staying away from the changing rooms.
Graham said it incorporates best practices for public security camera systems and is designed to protect privacy. Graham said the closed circuit television system focuses on public facilities rather than a wider spectrum; although the city is consolidating its signage to have “ubiquitous” notification at every location, Graham said.
The policy also prohibits invasion of individual privacy, sight of private areas and areas where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.
âOther current installations equipped with cameras include the Faraday Center and the Security Center. Ongoing upgrades at Aviara and Poinsettia Community Parks will include the installation of public security cameras. The city will also be upgrading the locations of cameras at City Hall and libraries, âGraham said.
Gallucci and Graham both said recent incidents to city buildings and the arrest of a suspect were other reasons for the expansion. In addition, they relied on the stress and fear that these incidents inflicted on staff members.
Other measures the police department has incorporated include run / hide / combat training, which teaches individuals how to identify an escape route, hide, and fight when their lives are in danger.
âWe did site surveys on every building in town,â said Gallucci.
Some cameras record 24 hours a day, others are motion activated, Gallucci said. Data, on the other hand, is retained for at least one year and is then purged, unless a video segment is used as evidence.
The system is passive, Gallucci said, so they are not actively monitored, although dispatch and surveillance commanders can display the video in real time.
“If someone is in a park and there’s a problem, I don’t want them to assume that now the police department knows there’s a problem,” Councilor Keith Blackburn said.