City Council to consider public surveillance cameras in numerous locations throughout the town
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 13, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Santa Paula will be keeping an eye out for you if the City Council approves an ambitious plan to place cameras throughout the town to help stem rising crime in area parks and other public gathering places. The council will discuss the plan at the Monday, September 16 meeting.
Interviews for an open Planning Commission seat will be held in the City Hall Administration Room at 5:30 p.m. Those vying for the one open spot on the commission include incumbent Commissioner Marilyn Appleby, Timothy Hicks who serves on the Mobile Home Rent Review Commission, John Demers, and Mark Bermudez.
The council will have the regular meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers. There is no closed session preceding the regular meeting.
Time Warner Cable will broadcast the meeting live on Channel 10 and replay the session per schedule. The city will also live stream the meeting online and archive the session for viewing on demand.
There will be two presentations: Fire Chief Rick Araiza will talk about the JD Powers grant to the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation and Jay Ramsey of the Santa Paula Housing Authority will address a national award received by the agency that helps provide housing to low-income residents.
The council only has two items of business: Police Chief Steve McLean will present the COPS Grant spending plan. The grant program annually awards $100,000 to the SPPD for use in supplementing police needs including staffing at the Community Policing Building at Las Piedras Park, firearms training, records staff, and facility among others.
With low police staffing and rising crime, City Manager Jaime Fontes is asking the council to approve a plan to place surveillance cameras throughout Santa Paula’s gathering places including parks, the Railroad Plaza, Fagan Barranca and the Bike Trail. The majority of such reports are centered on vandalism, graffiti, thefts from vehicles, alcohol and drug violations and disorderly conduct.
Public video surveillance, wrote Fontes, is a proven valuable tool in increasing safety and crime prevention and provides evidence for investigations. Fontes wrote that police do not have the “available time and staffing to monitor the problem areas on a constant basis” at the eight locations where mostly multiple cameras would be placed.
City Hall is located at 970 E. Ventura Street. For more information call Deputy City Clerk Lucy Blanco at 933-4208.