New surveillance cameras installed in Oakland's Chinatown to combat violent attacks

"We wanted to step in and see what we could do."

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Friday, October 1, 2021
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Oakland's Chamber of Commerce says these new security cameras are another tool being used to make the community safer.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Surveillance video has been crucial in storytelling and criminal investigations as Asian Americans experience an increase in xenophobia and attacks. An announcement of new security cameras in Oakland's Chinatown is another tool being used to make the community safer.

To better deter crime and help law enforcement Oakland's Chinatown Chamber of Commerce president, Carl Chan, flanked by members of the Blue Angels, the neighborhood's original patrol team- announced the installation of the first three cameras at the corner of Alice and 9th Streets.

It's a part of a 20-camera system to be installed along some of the neighborhood's major corridors.

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The effort was started by members of San Mateo-based security company Verkada. Employees who saw ABC7's reporting, and donated to a Vietnamese family that was assaulted and robbed in April took things a step further after Carl Chan himself was attacked.

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"We wanted to step in and see what we could do and several of us went to management to see if we had permissions to donate some products," said Phoebe Chan of Verkada.

Carl says the Verkada cameras couldn't come at a better time citing slow grant response from the city. Technical delays such a lack of WiFi in the area, didn't help either.

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"Many buildings didn't have it, so that's the challenge we are facing---which Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is working with carriers and building owners to see if we can help them install Internet service," she said.

The cameras will be monitored by the Chinatown Chamber who addressed privacy concerns, stressing they'll only be used to assist essential criminal investigations.

"If police come to say can we have the footage, we will consider. If it's someone running a traffic light we want to give them a ticket, we'll say no, we can't do that."

Verkada has pledged 100 cameras to be installed in different AAPI communities. Those who wish to apply can do so through the Oakland Chinatown Chamber.