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City approves surveillance cameras for San Luis Obispo parks

Posted at 6:02 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 03:02:10-05

UPDATE (12 a.m.) – The city of San Luis Obispo has voted to install the proposed surveillance cameras at Meadow Park, Mission Plaza and Mitchell Park.

New eyes in the sky could soon go up throughout the City of San Luis Obispo.

Right now, there are ten surveillance cameras scattered throughout the city. Four new cameras could be installed at Meadow Park, near the stairs of Mission Plaza, Mitchell Park, and near the creek close to Mission Plaza.

“We think it’s an excellent idea,” said Joan Drake, President of the San Luis Obispo Senior Center.

Mitchell Park is right outside the center’s front door.

“We’ve had two incidents in the last couple of months where a man from the park was quite aggressive at coming into the building and we had to call the police,” Drake explained.

Less than a mile away, Philip Colaprete enjoys Meadow Park with his dog.

“I don’t really care for cameras all over but for there it’s a good thing,” he explained. “I had heard of somebody shooting up dope up there one day. Somebody saw it, one of the park people.”

Surveillance cameras have been in use around San Luis Obispo for about five years. Police say with several angles on one pod, they’ve been a big help. For example, in Bubblegum Alley in July of 2017.

“That camera was able to capture an assault with a knife that occurred and based on the video, we were able to identify the suspect in that case,” said Lt. Brian Amoroso, San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Police were able to send out images of the suspects at the time.

The cameras are rolling 24 hours a day.

“If there is an incident that’s captured that we need, we’ll download that video and it’ll be booked as evidence,” Lt. Amoroso explained.

The cameras also serve as a way to deter crime, and Drake is looking forward to the added safety measure.

“We are over 55 years of age and yes, we want to feel secure when we come here,” Drake said.

The total cost of the cameras is about $30,000.

The city council will decide whether to approve them at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

If approved, the soonest the cameras could be installed is about three months.