SJ councilman wants to collect info of residents who have cameras

A councilman in San Jose has proposed a volunteer database for private security cameras.
January 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Call it crowdsourcing for public safety. There is a new proposal by a San Jose councilmember that would give police quick access to private surveillance cameras. The owner of the camera would have to authorize it, but it could save police a lot of time.

Erik Kupferer would gladly volunteer to have his home security cameras registered in a San Jose Police Department database.

"I think it's a great idea. There have been a couple of incidents where I've had to provide film to the police," said Kupferer.

City Councilman Sam Liccardo is behind the proposal. He told us, "The benefit of this process is to give police a ready phone number and identity of a person to contact when they really need this evidence, as we saw for instance with the recent arson attacks."

That was one of the investigations Kupferer was able to help with. His surveillance system caught video of the suspect walking by his home several times.

"It was nice to be able to actually help them to be a good citizen," said Kupferer.

San Jose resident Kristen Pendleton is a little more skeptical of the plan. She said, "I'm not so sure if there's not a problem that we're specifically trying to solve, so that we're just trying to gather all this data and look for something."

Liccardo say this is not about government surveillance. He said, "Each individual time the police want to see video, they have to ask for permission, so essentially the police wouldn't get any more access than they have today."

"The hesitation I have is that the random person walking by, they don't get that person's permission to put them on camera, so it is really delicate to try to figure out the balance," said Pendleton.

Next week, the proposal will be considered publicly for the first time.


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