Costa Mesa, Calif. considering surveillance cameras near parks and trails

Project would cost an estimated $150K to $250K

July 09--Costa Mesa's city council is considering installing security cameras in high-problem areas in response to recent vandalism and recurring crime in some areas of the city.

The council voted 4-1 with councilwoman Wendy Leece opposing, to begin obtaining bids for the proposal. It would cost an estimated $150,000 to $250,000. The proposed locations for cameras include:

--City yard facility at 2300 Placentia

--Locations along the Joanne Bike Trail, to provide enhanced security for pedestrian users and monitoring graffiti activity

--Costa Mesa Senior Center, exterior cameras to provide enhanced security for users of the facility

--Volcom skate park, to provide enhanced security

--Strategic locations in and around Fairview Park

During a discussion on the cameras Tuesday night, some residents said they would be uncomfortable with the surveillance, which several referred to as "Big Brother."

Costa Mesa council member Gary Monahan said the cameras could assist the police department. The statement drew criticism from residents, who said the cameras can't compensate for Costa Mesa's notoriously short-staffed police department.

Mayor Jim Righeimer said he's skeptical of the monitoring but believes the city should explore the protocols and policies related to the cameras.

"I'm supportive of going forward, but ... the bigger issue is to look at best practices in other cities," he said.

The Huntington Beach Police Department recently decided to use 10 additional security cameras inits downtown area. During a study session to evaluate the cameras' effectiveness, police shared stories of arrests made with the help of the cameras.

Contact the writer:



Copyright 2014 - The Orange County Register