Fremont spending $300,000 on surveillance cameras, license plate readers

FREMONT — The city will install dozens of cameras and license-plate readers throughout Fremont, aiming to deter and to identify criminals coming into the city from other areas.

City Council members on Tuesday allocated $300,000 for the program sought by the Police Department, shrugging off speakers who warned of a creeping loss of privacy.

“This whole notion that cameras are bad and privacy is good is overly simplistic,” said Councilwoman Anu Natarajan. “The prevalence of iPhones and Facebook and constantly being in touch with each other makes camera privacy a nonissue.”

Most of Fremont’s burglaries are committed by people living in other communities, said police Chief Richard Lucero. Cameras will be placed at 12 intersections near city limits to capture information on vehicles entering and exiting town, he said.

In a six-month period from late 2012 to early 2013, 46 people were convicted of burglaries, police said, and 39 of them — about 85 percent — lived outside Fremont.

The strategy of monitoring motorists near city limits has been adopted by other Bay Area communities, such as Piedmont, which installed license-plate readers and cameras last fall.

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Chris DeBenedetti


  1. Here’s an example of (IMHO) bad reasoning by our Vice Mayor.

    When asked about the potential privacy concerns relating to proposed surveillance cameras, Amu states – “The prevalence of iPhones and Facebook and constantly being in touch with each other makes camera privacy a nonissue.”

    Oh – really???
    It’s a “nonissue” . . . ????!!!!

    Ask Edward Snowden if it’s a “non-issue”.

    And, I guess Anu never got that childhood lecture that always goes something like – “So – if ALL the kids did something stupid, YOU would too?”

    See, when an issue is important – you dont just do what everyone else is doing. In fact, when it comes to the matter of privacy and security, and taking a look at the headlines we might begin to
    conclude that our society has given up a tad bit too much in the way of privacy . . . . and maybe responsible parties would begin to chart a new course . . . one of their OWN CREATION. But, Anu is comfortable throwing more fuel on that fire of eroding personal privacy. No mention of the trade-off between security and privacy makes it into her rationalization – – it’s AOK because everyone else is doing it

    Let’s be clear. I’m personally a fan of what technology can do in this realm But, with each step we take, we must weigh the trade-offs between security and privacy very carefully.

    These issues (security AND privacy() are important to our fundamental freedoms.

    Permitting such an important decision to be expeditiously explained away based on a rationalization of “everyone else is doing it . . . ” seems to suggest to me a total lack of concern/sensitivity to the very careful balancing of security and privacy. It’s a cavalier attitude that, frankly, is responsible for many of the headlines we’re witness to today.

  2. Fremont spending $300,000 on surveillance cameras, That is just the start. What is the cost of maintaining it and staffing it?

    What is the need? Fremont has the second lowest crime rate of any city it’s size 200.000.

    I completly disagree about the loss of privacy through smart phones, etc. We need to fight to keep our privacy. This opens the door for more aggressive surveillance of the Citizens of Fremont, We need to keep Government out of our lives.

    There seems to be a trend in Fremont, First was the redlight camera’s, then limiting where free speech can take place, and now surveillance cameras. They are starting to put limits on our freedom and privacey and the Sheep of fremont are going along with it.
    Soon we will be able to vote on there items when the Council person comes up for election. Remember all of this in November…..

  3. Still looking, but the independent data on surveillance cameras is almost identical to the data on red light cameras . . . . e.g., barely convincing that these actually perform according to their ADVERTISED promise.

    One study I read even identified the presence of a camera as one of the least likely things to prevent a criminal from committing a crime (at least according to the incarcerated criminals who were asked to prioritize such things).

    What is troubling in this instance is that there exists a potentially massive trade-off.

    You know, the one that Anu is comfortable setting aside under the auspices of “everyone else is doing it” . . . . and which is that small and eroding matter of personal privacy.

    Unlike RLC’s which are simply cash cows masquerading under the veneer of “safety” mechanisms, community surveillance cameras are pretty intrusive and can be used for lots of unintended purposes. . . . The worst thing that results from RLC’s is they discredit those politicians who refuse to acknowledge them for what they are. Community policing cameras, on the other hand, are running 24×7 and building huge archives of data. . . .

    The facts (thus far) appear to come down squarely on the side of these things not doing much when it comes to the matter of PREVENTION.

    Studies (and results) abound – – you’d be well served to do a bit of research of your own.

  4. The real issue that you can’t seem to handle Boxie is that your boy VBac is as or more corrupt as all the rest. Do taxpayer financed snipe hunts to India really mean business?

  5. Boxie…so the topic is not about you bashing every elected offical except Vinnie?

  6. Excellent response. A very intelligent comment, not like the other idiots that have a extemly low IQ

  7. Did you mean extremely? I would assume that someone with a *higher IQ* might would have spelled it extremely, duh!

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