Palo Alto aims to deter suicides on Caltrain tracks with new camera system

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The city of Palo Alto is moving forward with a $1.7 million plan in an effort to save more lives. Video cameras are going up and will eventually replace human guards who watch the train tracks. The plan is response to the high number of teen suicides in Palo Alto in recent years.

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"Work is scheduled to begin this week on the installation of an integrated video system at four Caltrain rail crossings including Palo Alto Avenue, Churchill Avenue, Meadow Drive and Charleston Avenue" said the city in a press release.

The cameras will be able to see up to 1,000 feet down the tracks and a live video feed will be monitored. The city says if someone is spotted on the railroad tracks, a voice announcement will be made to talk to that person.

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Last June, the City Council approved a contract with G4S for the camera system. The cameras will include some artificial intelligence to automatically detect certain behaviors and contact law enforcement if necessary.

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"The FY 2018 budget included $1.7 million for the Track Watch program," said the city. "The cost of installing cameras at all four Palo Alto crossings is $1.5 million in onetime capital costs, and an ongoing annual cost for remote monitoring and maintenance of $325,000."

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