Ensuring public buy-in for municipal surveillance is key

The onus is on government and law enforcement to make the case for implementation and spending


According the San Francisco Chronicle, heated demonstrations were going on outside the city council chambers as the vote was being taken. One demonstrator was quoted as saying that the Domain Awareness Center would be the guard tower which would watch over every person in the city of Oakland.  He went on to say that the program was an attempt to criminalize and imprison all people who live and pass through the city of Oakland.

The surveillance center’s costs are expected to total more than $10.2 million in federal grants, and while legislators said they were cognizant of residents’ security and it’s privacy rights while drafting the bill, it is apparent that there might not have been enough straightforward marketing to the public. 

I’ve made this point before, but it bears repeating: what ties together future innovation and implementation of safe and secured cities initiatives is the realization that many strategic plans hinge on the fate of public buy-in, budget realities and crumbling urban infrastructure.

 Most American cities are faced with horrific budget cuts that have gouged deep into law enforcement and public safety projects. And the prospects of taxpayers approving new spending seem to lessen with every election cycle. Add the frightening decay of basic critical infrastructure, it is easy to see the challenges any municipality faces in moving forward with relevant projects.

If you are interested in learning more about safe and secured cites initiatives and hearing from actual implementers of these programs, please go to www.securedcities.com to learn more about our Secured Cities Conference taking place on November 14-15 in Baltimore.

With more than 60 educational tracks covering technology solutions, management and operations, and best practices in the areas of public safety, campus, healthcare and transit security, Secured Cities in the only peer-led conference of its kind in the U.S. to address the public/private partnerships needed to forge successful safe and secured city strategies.

There will also be opportunities to see some of the latest in technology and security solutions with more than 70 solution provider sponsors available in the sponsor’s hall.

In addition to the sponsor’s hall and educational sessions, Secured Cities will also offer three unique security facility tours on the event’s final day. You can pre-register for tours of the Baltimore PD’s Citiwatch Command and Control Center, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s state-wide command center, and security operations at the University of Maryland’s Shock and Trauma Center.

As conference and program director, I encourage you to register today at https://www.xpressreg.net/esite/index.php?show=SCMD113  to experience firsthand where the future of public safety in tomorrow’s cities are headed.