Southern California City to Install Surveillance Cameras


In Gardena, Calif., located 15 miles south of Los Angeles, police plan to install 89 surveillance cameras in an effort to combat crime in public areas, according to a newspaper report.

The cameras would be mounted to the tops of utility poles and buildings, with wireless connections to a video command center at the department, Police Chief Ed Medrano told the Daily Breeze.

Medrano has worked on the project since last summer, but has not yet secured all of the $1.2 million needed to buy the cameras, install them and add a command center to monitor them. He hopes to begin placing cameras in July and finish before the end of this year, according to the newspaper.

“We can’t have police officers at every corner,” Medrano says. “This allows us to have eyes in a lot of areas. But it’s not a panacea. It’s not going to make crime go away. This is just the next step in our overall crime strategy.”

City officials anticipate paying for the program with two federal technology grants, a donation from a group of city businesses that make up the Gardena Police Foundation, and Target Corp.’s Safe Cities Initiative. The City Council will be asked to foot the remaining balance, according to the newspaper.

Nearly 70 percent of robberies in Gardena in 2007 occurred outdoors, according to crime statistics. Last year, 204 reported robberies took place outdoors and 82 occurred inside businesses and homes.

According to the police department’s plan, the majority of the cameras would be installed over major thoroughfares, while others are intended to watch over heavily traveled and high-crime areas, and around parks.

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