Citywide Surveillance System an Overall Crime Strategy for City of Gardena, CA

surveillance camera system. The council voted 4-0 on Tuesday to set aside $1.3 million for the project from extra card club revenues in the 2007-08 fiscal year budget. The city plans to place 89 surveillance cameras in public areas atop utility poles and buildings. The video feed would be monitored 24 hours a day from a Police Department command center. “This allows us to have eyes in a lot of areas,” Police Chief Ed Medrano said. “It’s not going to make crime go away. This is just the next step in our overall crime strategy.” Medrano said he expects to begin installing cameras in the city’s jail, parks and public facilities by the end of the year. The city initially tried to secure outside funding for the surveillance cameras, and it still anticipates a grant from Target Corp.’s Safe Cities Initiative and other donations. Before voting for the funding, Council members Steve Bradford and Rachel Johnson said the surveillance program was too costly, considering the state’s budget crisis. “I would ask that we be a little more fiscally conservative,” Bradford said. “I just think the camera program is a little ahead of its time.” City Manager Mitch Lansdell said he is still hoping to attract sponsors. Mayor Paul Tanaka praised the initiative. “I do believe that the camera system has proven to be of great benefit to any cities that use it,” he said. “Public safety is not only providing police services, but providing a feeling of safety in this city.” The $1.3 million came from extra tax revenue from the Hustler and Normandie casinos. Together they are the city’s largest tax generator, bringing in about $9.5 million last fiscal year. The council on Tuesday also allocated $5.5 million in additional unspent revenue for one-time purchases of new computers, and insurance and equipment funds. About $1 million will go toward paying the $26 million debt the city racked up from two failed programs in the 1990s, a first-time home-buyers program and a city-owned insurance company. Mazza, Sandy (2008, October 29). Gardena budgets $1.3 million for Cameras. Retrieved on October 30, 2008 from]]>

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