Jul 29, 2014
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Poll: Would You Welcome Police Cameras on York and Figueroa?

The issue will be discussed at Thursday's HHPNC meeting.

Poll: Would You Welcome Police Cameras on York and Figueroa?

Would security cameras located at the intersection of York Boulevard and Figueroa Street benefit Highland Park?

An item on Thursday's (HHPNC) agenda calls for the board to discuss a bid by R&D Systems to install a camera system in the area, which would be monitored by the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to HHPNC member Richard Marquez, the board has $50,000 set aside to purchase a security system, and has been trying to install one in the area for two to three years.

In 2008, security cameras purchased by the HHPNC were installed along York Boulevard near Avenue 50. Those cameras--which are currently non functioning due to billing issues with the system's bandwidth providers--were also monitored by the Los Angeles Police Department.

"They've been very helpful," Marquez said of the cameras. "This has been one of the things that we've gone to LAPD and we've asked them--what do you want to help fight crime in Highland Park? Do you want a camera system?
It's helped them with solving crime, solving cases and it's also a deterrent. It helps, it just like a security camera in a bank."

Marquez said a security system at York and Figueroa may help to deter drug dealing that takes place in the area of Veterans Square Memorial. 

However, the placement of security cameras in public places also raises legitimate concerns about privacy, which Marquez said he hoped would be discussed at Thursday's HHPNC meeting. 

"[Invading privacy] is the last thing we want to … our whole thing was not to invade on privacy of people," Marquez said, noting that most major cities have similar security systems. "There is the privacy issue, but I think what outweighs that are the pluses, and we're not going into people's houses, it's a public domain on the boulevard and probably the most apparent place to not do the wrong things."

What do you think? Would you support the placement of security systems in public places in an effort to reduce crime, or are the privacy concerns too great? How would you spend the $50,000?


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