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Newsom rolls out surveillance plan to crack down on Oakland crime with nearly 500 cameras

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced the installation of 480 surveillance cameras in Oakland, California, and the East Bay as part of efforts to aid law enforcement in fighting crime.

The advanced cameras from Flock Safety will allow police with the Oakland Police Department and the California Highway Patrol to identify vehicles and track the movements of cars attached to suspected criminals, according to the governor’s office.

“This investment marks another step forward in our commitment to bolstering public safety and tackling organized crime and roadway violence in Oakland and across California,” Newsom said in a statement on Friday.

“With the installation of this 480 high-tech camera network, we’re equipping law enforcement with the tools they need to effectively combat criminal activity and hold perpetrators accountable — building safer, stronger communities for all Californians,” he added.

In Oakland, 290 of the cameras set to be installed will be on and near streets, while the other 190 will be placed along state highways in the East Bay. The contract with Flock Safety is reportedly worth $1.6 million in its first year and $1.5 million for subsequent years.

Addressing privacy concerns, Newsom said the network of cameras will only have a 28-day retention period, and footage from the cameras will not be given to third parties outside of state law enforcement, among other privacy measures.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao also praised the planned network of surveillance cameras, saying it help hold criminals accountable.

“Improving public safety and addressing quality of life issues in Oakland is my top priority,” Thao said in a statement. “This new camera network will help us stop crime and hold more suspects accountable. On behalf of all Oaklanders, I want to thank the Governor and the California Highway Patrol for their ongoing commitment and investments in the city.”

Oakland is one of several California cities facing a crime crisis, with local and state officials working to reverse negative recent trends.

Last month, Newsom announced he would be deploying 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland to help fight crime. He also loaned the city $1.2 million in 2023 to focus on improving public safety.

-Washington Examiner

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