DAVENPORT, Iowa — Officials in Davenport are considering installing more than 20 cameras along a city street as part of a test program that could be expanded to other parts of the eastern Iowa city.
The Quad-City Times reports (http://bit.ly/2duOGsZ ) the City Council could vote on the proposal as early as its Oct. 26 meeting but the system wouldn’t operate until next spring. Officials say the goal would be to enhance public and traffic safety.
Budget analyst Clay Merritt said there are many questions to resolve, including how many days to keep video on file, who would have access to the images and whether someone should monitor the video in real time.
Officials would start with cameras on Washington Street between Clay and 17th.
Along with other streets, city parks are another area where cameras could be placed after a suggestion from law enforcement. Police Chief Paul Sikorski said he thinks it is important for the city to get the community to buy into the program.
“It’s important to get into the neighborhoods and educate the community on them,” Sikorski said. “We’re doing this for them. It’s not a money-making venture. It’s both a public safety and traffic safety venture.”
While not intended to be a secret surveillance system, Sikorski said the program will be useful to prevent some crime and provide the police department with evidence for prosecution. Alderman Bill Boom of Ward 3 reminds the city to manage expectations.
“People will anticipate we are watching these things and can stop crime, and that is not the way this is going to work,” Boom said. “Until we move into that proactive realm, we have to be careful how we discuss this.
Merritt said he couldn’t provide a specific cost of the program until the council’s next meeting cycle.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com