Wondering about new cameras along Alki? Seattle Police project

January 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm | In Seattle Police surveillance cameras, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 77 Comments

Since last weekend, we’ve been getting questions from WSB readers about installations in prominent Alki spots of what appear to be new surveillance/security cameras (a hot topic right now, as evidenced by the discussion about private cameras at last week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting [WSB coverage here]). Traveling the waterfront, you can see at least half a dozen similar installations along Harbor and Alki Avenues as well as one near Constellation Park. Since they’re all on utility and streetlight poles, we speculated they had to be some kind of city project, so we started inquiring with city departments, and after two days of inquiries finally have a bit of information. SDOT pointed us to Seattle Police, as did Seattle City Light, describing it as a police project related to port security. Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis explained that the cameras are “part of a grant project ran by SPD to observe the waterway in that area.” This online article from last summer quotes a Seattle Fire Department official as mentioning a project for surveillance cameras all along the waterfront to help public-safety personnel in case of incidents. SPD Public Affairs says more information about the project will be made public soon.

77 Comments

  1. Can’t be sure, but they don’t appear to be pointed towards the “waterway”.

    Comment by me — 4:36 pm January 29, 2013 #

  2. If you look at them closeup – I looked at each one between Salty’s and Constellation Park while researching this – they are the upside-down dome type, so the water would be visible, though they are not all on the water side of the road.

    Comment by WSB — 4:42 pm January 29, 2013 #

  3. If it had something to do with port security why wouldn’t you have been directed to the Port of Seattle Police or the Coast Guard ? If it was really for Port security I don’t think anyone would be hearing about the installation. Can’t wait to hear this story, something fishy here. Like to know what type of cameras there using, that will tell the you what there plans are. They don’t look like the type for said purpose. Sounds more like they want to keep an eye on things at these areas this summer, maybe the volleyball players, sunbathers ? Be interested to know what this is costing and who approved this. Big Brother watching us.

    Comment by wetone — 4:46 pm January 29, 2013 #

  4. Welcome to 1984. Hello, ACLU? I, for one, do not feel safer. More violated, yes.

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 4:49 pm January 29, 2013 #

  5. No problem for me, if their presence and use is known.

    Comment by Mike — 5:18 pm January 29, 2013 #

  6. Luckily I watched The A-Team a lot when I was I kid. So I know how to get around security cameras.

    Comment by Guy — 5:29 pm January 29, 2013 #

  7. “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.”

    T.S. Eliot

    Our liberties will be gradually drained away by a thousand cuts until pale and wan, we wonder how it happened. Cameras, drones, automatic facial scans. Because the security state can, it will unless we protest. “More about the project will be made public soon”. It is public now and we should have been told this was coming. The attitude is: “Don’t worry your pretty liberal head–if you aren’t guilty, why do you care? It is for your safety…unless you are a criminal.”

    Comment by JayDee — 5:33 pm January 29, 2013 #

  8. I, for one, am paranoid that these cameras will be used to identify THUGS. Not.

    Comment by Paranoid — 5:40 pm January 29, 2013 #

  9. I hope you don’t mean us in terms of “attitude” – this is the most I’ve been able to find out, after two days. I appreciate the readers who noticed the cameras and said “What’s that all about?” – I searched the Web and even the city budget. No mention of cameras – the article to which I link, a PDF of a story quoting a Seattle Fire Department official as saying this will be a citywide thing, was from last summer, but didn’t come up until some different keywords I tried today. I tried Parks as well as the departments I mention, since so much of our shoreline is Parks-owned, and I came across a mention of the pilot surveillance camera project elsewhere in the city a while back, but they were the first to say “not us.” – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:48 pm January 29, 2013 #

  10. Not you WSB, but SPD. Where is Seattle process when we really need to kill a BAD idea?

    Comment by JayDee — 5:59 pm January 29, 2013 #

  11. Seems as tho it resembles “Person of Interest” “Welcome to the Machine”( Pink Floyd)
    The giant machine. LOL

    Comment by let them swim — 6:03 pm January 29, 2013 #

  12. Wondering what the one is at the corner of 11th SW and SW Webster on the light pole at the south end of the Riverview Playfields. Appears to be pointing west.

    Comment by Kay K — 6:30 pm January 29, 2013 #

  13. This doesn’t bother me at all. People drag-racing on Alki, shooting up bars… I don’t mind at all if someone sees me jogging by or sunbathing in the summer. I hope they use this to their benefit so Alki can become a bit nicer in the busy summer.

    Comment by Sara — 7:09 pm January 29, 2013 #

  14. I for one have nothing to hide! If it helps capture someone who has something to hide then great! In our “I won’t rat on a rat” society maybe this is the answer. Until it happens to you, you don’t want this in your neighborhood. When it does happen to you or someone you care about you are the first to ask where are the cameras. Think about it.

    Comment by Star 55 — 7:15 pm January 29, 2013 #

  15. If indeed these are surveillance cameras intended to watch the public, I suggest you watch these videos before suggesting that it doesn’t bother you. Because in reality, there is zero difference. Think about it!

    http://www.geekwire.com/2012/seattles-creepy-cameraman-pushes-limits-public-surveillance/

    Btw…. As a resident of Alki, my home and myself could be under constant surveillance by the Seattle Police Dept. Think about it!

    Comment by me — 7:48 pm January 29, 2013 #

  16. I remember hearing something about these cameras last summer as part of a waterfront security initiative (TSA, Coast Guard – some combination of agencies). About time to face the future of recording public spaces.

    Comment by ScottA — 7:54 pm January 29, 2013 #

  17. If you do nothing wrong. Are an innocent community participant, and your actions in public are innocuous, then why on earth would you be so uncomfortable and Polly Anna that your rights are violated?

    I’m guessing that if a loved one was murdered and the camera caught it on tape, and the police could do absolutely NOTHING; no request for footage; no access to footage; no evidence…the murderer walks free…you’d be outraged.

    Comment by WTF — 8:02 pm January 29, 2013 #

  18. Can you not wonder how the information the cameras gather can infringe your freedom? What if I resemble someone who was wanted for some reason…but was not that person? But since I boarded the water Taxi, my orca card was captured…case closed. Or if not closed, like Pandora’s box, difficult to shut without losing all but hope? As citizens, as I am, we deserve to know what is being done in our name for what end…”port security” indeed.

    Comment by JayDee — 8:26 pm January 29, 2013 #

  19. You people make me sick. I guess it’s true that a police state comes about with cheers and support rather than being protested the whole way.

    Comment by Jeff — 8:29 pm January 29, 2013 #

  20. The only thing more disturbing than the cameras is people’s acceptance of them.

    Comment by D — 8:41 pm January 29, 2013 #

  21. I think the Berliners have a new game for these cameras, it’s called, Camover. If any city in the world understands how fascism creeps it would be that one.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/shortcuts/2013/jan/25/game-destroy-cctv-cameras-berlin

    Comment by Neighbor — 10:35 pm January 29, 2013 #

  22. Port security my a##. As stated, the cameras are on the street side of the utility poles, effectively obscuring a fair portion of any water-side surveillance view that they are supposedly mounted for.
    .
    Also, since it was a federally provided port security grant (allegedly), it will have stipulations concerning the use and deployment of the funded equipment. I wonder what a federal grant auditor would have to say about the use of port security funds to install equipment for performing land-side Seattle civic surveillance?

    Comment by ltfd — 11:07 pm January 29, 2013 #

  23. “O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

    We don’t get one without the other…

    Comment by them — 2:05 am January 30, 2013 #

  24. I have only see the one on Alki around 60th Ave and Alki and it is in a prime spot for potential crime in the summer. They might as well put one over Bamboo Bar and Grill as well to capture a majority of the crime.

    What is next, helicopter drones flying over the beach this summer?

    Comment by Kyle Asphalt — 5:19 am January 30, 2013 #

  25. “The only thing more disturbing than the cameras is people’s acceptance of them.”

    I cannot agree more….

    Comment by AM — 9:04 am January 30, 2013 #

  26. There was also one of these cameras recently installed on a streetlight pole downtown at 4th and Columbia.

    Comment by AndrewN — 9:39 am January 30, 2013 #

  27. I get the feeling that the same folks that are so vehemently protesting the cameras are the same ones that would wildly applaud them if they were used on our borders to protect from illegal immigrants. Maybe I am wrong but that’s the impression I get.

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 9:59 am January 30, 2013 #

  28. Can’t say I like the idea … can’t even “scratch” without thinking, oops, I’m on camera!
    Yes, I feel “Big Brother” is everywhere ….

    Comment by hmmm... — 10:04 am January 30, 2013 #

  29. Nothing to hide here. Bring em…

    Comment by Martha — 10:29 am January 30, 2013 #

  30. We’re living in an ever-expanding and aggressive police state in this country and Seattle is actually among the leaders in this category. How many of you know that Seattle is the 1st city to approve Drone (yes, I said DRONE) surveillance? The drones will have the capability to watch and record you quietly without your knowing from 30 feet above! That is in the works NOW and Seattle is the pioneer. So much for your rights to privacy.

    Comment by Will — 10:32 am January 30, 2013 #

  31. To WTF and the other people here using the classic refrain, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” Please read this article by one of the leading experts in computer security. He explains in detail exactly why this should bother you even if you have this strange mentality.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/05/the_value_of_pr.html

    Comment by West Seattle Resident — 10:37 am January 30, 2013 #

  32. Actually I’m fine with completely open borders 2 Much Whine, so long as a person has to prove citizenship to be able to work or receive government benefits of any kind. Still against the cameras. Even putting aside philosophical objections for a moment, the best information says that widespread public surveillance has no effect on crime.

    http://www.aclu.org/images/asset_upload_file708_35775.pdf

    Comment by Jeff — 10:48 am January 30, 2013 #

  33. You people are so funny! A camera is a camera; it is there to watch YOU. This “government” you have voted in, is out of controll, someday you will understand. I hope..

    Comment by lord help us — 10:49 am January 30, 2013 #

  34. This bothers the heck out of me – yes, being watched continually may reduce crime – but at a huge cost to our freedom – if everyone is being watched, then we are all under suspicion. I hope that the WSB stays on this. I am not willing to be safer from “criminals” by being treated like a criminal by my government.

    Comment by bestbets — 11:03 am January 30, 2013 #

  35. I think people are over reacting.

    Personally, I prefer cameras from an agency that can be regulated and held to privacy standards, rather than unaccountable private entities.

    Those of you who are worried about surveillance, do you worry about location tracking on your cell phone too? The web sites you visit? Facebook? The cameras in department stores?

    In some places there are good reasons to have security cameras, you need to balance the utility with privacy concerns.

    -Alex

    Comment by Alex — 11:06 am January 30, 2013 #

  36. Scary….but maybe now they can crack down on the dog walkers who don’t pick up after their dogs!

    Comment by TW — 11:08 am January 30, 2013 #

  37. People clamor for more security and police present. Do something about the crime they say! Everyone wants more security, BUT and this is a big BUT, no one wants to pay for it….”oh no don’t raise my property tax, don’t you dare add a cent on my sales or gas tax and….horror of horrors don’t you dare make an income tax”

    So this is what you get, cameras are a lot cheaper and easier for the police to deal with than to add more police presence.

    I’m not saying that I agree with them or not but think about it realistically. You can’t have everything, you want more police presence and no security cameras be willing to pay for it.

    Comment by Cecelia — 11:08 am January 30, 2013 #

  38. I would have welcomed a camera like this when I was attacked on Alki. Luckily, someone called the cops who arrived in about 5 minutes. Perhaps if there had been a camera, they would have arrived earlier, resulting in less damage to me and my car.

    Comment by anita — 11:10 am January 30, 2013 #

  39. I am leaning towards being for this, but I want to know from the anti-camera people; would you prefer a bunch of cops standing where the cameras are instead? Or prefer no cops at all? What is the difference between a camera and an actual person? I am being sincere, I don’t understand how a camera violates your personal freedom if it is in a public place. If it deters crime or helps catch criminals, why is that bad? Please enlighten me, is there something Im missing?

    Comment by Wondering — 11:17 am January 30, 2013 #

  40. We need to remove ALL “electronic cops” from our city. If this is the way Seattle is going….this life long resident is leaving. Goodbye liberties…..hello fear and paranoia.

    Comment by J — 11:23 am January 30, 2013 #

  41. I’m encouraged to see so many comments on a very important story. I’d like to SE a story like this get bigger and covered by even more media. There is plenty of security on our waterways as it is and if anyone is buying this garbage about it being a port project they aren’t in touch with what’s going on in our world today. From the federal level to the smallest towns our goverents cannot resist the temptation to leverage technology to continually invade our privacy. If you aren’t outraged by this or just take an ‘I don’t care’ attitude then I would have to ask you what other rights you would be willing to surrender next.

    Comment by Heath — 11:26 am January 30, 2013 #

  42. Heath, WSB is followed closely by citywide media so trust me, they have seen this story, and if they’re not following up on it, it’s a conscious choice. But if you have anyone in mind, send them the URL just in case! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:29 am January 30, 2013 #

  43. The right to keep and bear arms! I’d be happy to give up that right today. Also, where again does it state that we have the right to not be watched in a public place???

    Comment by J — 11:51 am January 30, 2013 #

  44. Thanks WSB for bringing this to our attention. Even though I would like to see less crime and hooliganism in Alki, I am not happy with the increased surveillance. This is definitely a loss of privacy for us all and a chilling, ominous addition to our waterfront. I could see where some people might feel safer, but at what cost? Someone said would you rather see more police out and about. Yes, at least you can relate to humans, but an ever present all-seeing recording device that can be aimed and zoomed by some unknown entity is more unsettling.

    Great comment West Seattle Resident and very good link to the article on privacy. I totally disagree with the notion that anything is okay if you don’t have something to hide. Who wants to live like an ant in an ant farm?

    If this is a Port or Homeland Security deal, then is the entire waterfront being fitted with cameras–near the ferris wheel and piers? What about Elliot Bay Marina and Shilshole Marina? They have views of the harbor and shipping lanes.

    Not long ago there was an experiment with cameras in Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill. They were eventually taken down after much public outrage and protest. They were found not to be that effective in deterring crime or making folks feel any safer.

    Here’s the Seattle Times article: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2004364931_parkcameras22m.html

    Here’s a discussion about them on the Capitol Hill Blog: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2010/04/20/public-forum-on-future-of-cal-anderson-surveillance-cameras-announced

    For those who want to really drill down and see some of the analysis, here’s the Auditor’s report. It’s a PDF and takes a minute to download: http://www.seattle.gov/audit/docs/2009Oct_PublishedReportSurveillanceCameras.pdf

    Here’s more commentary in the Stranger: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/09/27/cal-anderson-park-surveillance-cameras-to-go

    And additional notes in the Blog on the removal:

    http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2010/07/14/city-council-unveils-plan-to-continue-cal-anderson-cam-surveillance

    I would like to kayak, paddleboard and bike without being under constant scrutiny or being recorded. I imagine others would like to run, walk, stroll or just enter and leave their waterfront property without this far reaching eye seeing and recording as well. And some will welcome it. They don’t value their privacy as much as their perceived security. This may be a struggle. Please keep tracking this story, WSB. ~z

    Comment by zephyr — 12:43 pm January 30, 2013 #

  45. J. You’d be happy to lose the right to defend yourself against an armed invader? Your happy being watched and recorded? Wow!! I don’t know you and I don’t want to be judgemental but maybe you should move to North Korea. Do you understand what type of country we’ll have if we no longer have rights such to defend ourselves or keep our legal activities private? Would you consent to checkpoints having to show ID just to move around the city? Would it be ok for
    Police to search you, your vehicle or your home anytime they felt like it and seize any property that they felt you shouldn’t have? Would it be ok with you if the police decided to detain you without cause until you gave them acceptable answers or you provided information about a friend, family member or associate? Would it be ok if the police or city government told WSB what they can and cannot publish? These are all basic rights we have and will lose if we continue to allow things like this and it’s been proven throughout history how dangerous that is. Too many good people have given their lives to protect these rights. We should be demanding they be honored.

    Comment by Heath — 12:50 pm January 30, 2013 #

  46. I am sure WSB is on top of this but the info I got from the Mayor’s office is as follows –

    The official title of the project is called “The SPD Wireless Mesh Data Interchange Network”. The person in charge of the program is Detective Monty Moss 206-684-8559. The cameras will be used to monitor parts of the waterway, shore (beach) and the right away (road). There will be a privacy setting to supposedly block out the residences. The cameras, as of yet, have not been turned on and there will be a community briefing forthcoming.

    The most disturbing part to me was when I asked if they were doing things backwards by spending the money to purchase and install the system prior to informing the community. I was told specifically that community opinion would have no impact on the project. The project would be implemented regardless if the community is opposed to it or not. I called her back to confirm the Mayor’s Office stance on this subject and was told the exact same, community opposition to the project would have no effect on its implementation. I was also told that they have already received several complaints.

    I would implore anyone that is concerned with their right to privacy and against the government monitoring its citizens to contact the Mayor’s office and/or Detective Monty Moss and express your opposition to this project.

    Comment by me — 12:56 pm January 30, 2013 #

  47. Hey Me, thank you for that information!! I find that part scary as well. Basically they are saying we don’t care what you think we’ll do whatever we want. Just like our President wants to do. I also find it interesting that they need to monitor the beach and road. That is just cover for, ” we’ll be watching the whole neighborhood”. Anyone who thinks they cannot see into their home is crazy. Thanks again.

    Comment by Heath — 1:33 pm January 30, 2013 #

  48. All you nothing-to-hide-here mouths -
    remember that attitude when they make you lay down naked for body cavity searches.
    You have such deep normalcy bias, you can not conceive of what evil is abroad.
    Me’s comment above about community input having no impact on implementation should just confirm what we are seeing all around us, government is in control instead of citizen’s being in control.
    History shows how power corrupts, and how easily abuse of power arises.

    Comment by old timer — 1:36 pm January 30, 2013 #

  49. Thanks, “Me.” I sent a request for comment to the mayor’s office a couple hours ago. They’ve generally been responsive to our inquiries; the first response said they’d get someone from SPD to contact me, though I had already explained I’d talked to multiple levels of SPD yesterday, so I responded by reiterating that what I’m looking for now is what the mayor himself has to say about when/how this was authorized and why. Waiting for the answer back to that one. I would love to hear where exactly “Me” got that response – from the switchboard operator? legislative assistant? or? – and if they have anything further to share, but would rather do so off the site, they are welcome to e-mail me at editor@westseattleblog.com – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 1:45 pm January 30, 2013 #

  50. Man, this is getting outright distressing. Apples to Oranges, but I’m hoping a little community uprising not unlike what we had against the “Ape” ziplines will get our ELECTED Mayor and or police representatives to take notice before this thing goes live. I feel really bad for all of us, but notably for the Alki residents. I don’t live too far off California; what if the cops decide that is a trouble area worthy of their spying? Next, it’s MY house under constant watch. This is frightening stuff, folks. And to WSB; I do want to make a call; please advise if you think the info ME provided is my best avenue or just wasted effort. Thank you for being so much more than a reporting service. You are a true community watchdog!

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 2:20 pm January 30, 2013 #

  51. Guess I need to dig around in my Halloween costumes box and find my Groucho Marx disguise (glasses-nose-mustache)so I can take my Alki strolls incognito. I wonder if Big Brother would notice if we all got together and wore this disguise on a prearranged date/time.

    Comment by Donna — 2:23 pm January 30, 2013 #

  52. Wondering, you read my mind. People generally approve of police patrolling neighborhoods. How is this different?

    And I don’t get this argument of a right to privacy in public. That is why it is called ‘in public’. I have an expectation of privacy in my home. If someone installs a camera looking into my living room window, that’s a big no-no, but when I step outside my door, I’m probably on a dozen different cameras each day. Traffic cameras, gas station cameras, grocery store cameras, parking garage cameras…how are cameras on a public waterfront any different?

    Comment by higgins — 2:32 pm January 30, 2013 #

  53. Chuck/Sally – if something is authorized by the city, the buck stops with the mayor in most cases, unless it turns out to have been something authorized by the council that somehow did not require mayoral oversight – I am just trying to do my job as a journalist – find information and report it. Even when something is NOT the mayor’s direct responsibility, I am sure that as a citizen and leader he cares too and it’s never wasted effort to let him know what you think about something. There also is a city council committee with law-enforcement oversight and its chair is someone you could contact as well (I haven’t yet) – Bruce Harrell (who is running for mayor) heads the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, which seems to relate to all of the above here: http://www.seattle.gov/council/com_assign.htm#safety
    .
    Whatever more we find out today, we’ll publish a followup by day’s end – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:34 pm January 30, 2013 #

  54. An FOIA request has already been put in regarding this purchase and information relating to via muckrock.com

    https://www.muckrock.com/foi/seattle-69/seattle-police-dept-alki-beach-public-surveillance-camera-docs-2632/

    Comment by JD — 2:45 pm January 30, 2013 #

  55. thank you too – if it was you, or whomever – that was also on my list but I wasn’t going to be able to get to it today.

    Comment by WSB — 3:01 pm January 30, 2013 #

  56. Higgins, I don’t know you and won’t judge you. Watch these videos, tell me how they make you feel. http://www.geekwire.com/2012/seattles-creepy-cameraman-pushes-limits-public-surveillance/
    Also, since you feel we have no right to privacy in public would you be ok with checkpoints to move around the city and state? Would you be ok with random stops by the police to check your ID and search your car, backpack, briefcase, laptop, iPad, cell phone, journal, pants pockets, body cavities, etc? How about the same for your children at school? Would you be ok this? We absolutely have a right to privacy in public. And once we give that away how long before we give away the same rights in our homes? We don’t have to agree and you are entitled to your opinion but in my world I have the right to privacy in public or at home. Be well!

    Comment by Heath — 3:03 pm January 30, 2013 #

  57. Yeah, what Higgins said. Exactly.

    It’s surprising how much fear based thought is on this comment thread.

    And oh Heath my dear, I live in the USA where I have been searched without cause. It happens all the time. Just hang out with people of color and you’ll see how it really is in this country of over inflated ego and entitlement. In my experience cameras in public are no big deal.

    Comment by J — 3:05 pm January 30, 2013 #

  58. Anyone who thinks “no problem, I have nothing to hide” has missed some valuable lessons from history. People who believe “it’s public property, so it’s just like a policeman” doesn’t understand that the cameras have wider ranges than you think. I’m not paranoid. I am rather in favor of maintaining true freedom, not giving it up in the name of imagined security. (To paraphrase Ben Franklin)
    And JD or Muckrock, thank you. I look forward to the response.

    Comment by EPanther — 3:08 pm January 30, 2013 #

  59. WSB – email sent regarding my notes and name of the person I spoke with at the Mayors office.

    Comment by me — 3:35 pm January 30, 2013 #

  60. So J, you’re ok with being searched without cause then? Ok, that seems crazy to me but I won’t judge you for that, we all have our things. I’m curious though, would you let police into your home without a warrant? Would you allow your vehicle to be searched without probable cause? Would you produce ID (you papers) on command even if you were walking down the street minding your own business and breaking no laws? Would you turn over your cell phone and laptop for inspection while supping your latte at Starbucks and bothering no one? Walking
    Down Alki would you answer questions about where you were going, where you came from and who you were going to meet? There is no difference in my mind.

    Comment by Heath — 4:06 pm January 30, 2013 #

  61. Waste of money! These cameras should be in neighborhoods with crime issues, like Westwood or Rainer to ensure thugs get caught when they commit crimes.

    Comment by Hoppy Daze — 4:54 pm January 30, 2013 #

  62. Have collected a bit more info for the forthcoming followup. At least one City Councilmember’s office is asking questions too (although as it turns out this is related to an ordinance approved unanimously by the council in May of last year, though the language did not specifically mention anything about cameras or surveillance) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:02 pm January 30, 2013 #

  63. Well I just got in from my walk at the beach and noticed the camera on Alki & 61st. It is installed on the beach side light pole facing the apartments and businesses, NOT THE WATER. Must be the same city engineering group involved with this project as our NEW TRANSFER STATION(might take another year and millions to fix all problems). Can’t wait to hear how wide spread and all the cost involved with this surveillance/security camera project when it’s all said and done. I can see why my taxes keep going up.

    Comment by wetone — 5:25 pm January 30, 2013 #

  64. Higgins and J:

    Don’t know where you live in West Seattle, but I never see police foot patrols in Alki, along Admiral, Beach drive, Harbor Drive. They may cruise by in cars but those are in range for 1-5 seconds.
    -
    How about 24/7 with a weeks worth of memory for everything the camera is looking at. “Sure, we’d have residential block outs”? Really, how? Do any of the camera in place have fogged out windows? (No). Why would they? If I lived in the third floor of a condo on beach drive I would wonder.

    If I did see police patrols I would be shocked, but better yet, I could go out and ask: what is up? Not with a camera. Are there remote operators? (Sorry that isn’t public information). The Constitution may not have anticipated cameras, but it didn’t anticipate much. But it or the Bill of Rights said: Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Or was that constant surveillance?

    Comment by JayDee — 8:03 pm January 30, 2013 #

  65. Put me in the ‘so what?’ camp on this one. I suspect a large percentage of the ‘right of privacy’ posters here might be a bit more flexible about this if they were the victim of a crime, and the cameras help facilitate the rapid apprehension of the criminal. If one of these cameras was over at Emma Schmitz park, Gregette Guy’s killer might be in custody now, or maybe even been intercepted before he (or she) could’ve struck.
    .
    I know I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this, but I wonder if many of the folks who are upset about surveillance cameras, red light cameras, speeder-catching cams, etc., are actually just mad at the heightened prospect of being held accountable for their own behavior?
    .
    Each summer, Alki seems to get more and more out of control as gangbangers and other assorted riff-raff come down and make it so bad that residents like myself just avoid the area on the weekends, and look forward to Monday just so we can take our beach back from the weekend’s ‘occupation forces’.
    .
    The cameras are simply a tool that helps our undermanned SPD be more effective, and if the feeling that they’re being watched makes the thugs go elsewhere, I for one am all for it. BTW, in London, much of public space is covered by CCTV, and our British friends are no less free for it. Just a thought.

    Comment by McGruff — 9:03 pm January 30, 2013 #

  66. Certain areas in Seattle attract aimless young adults that vandalize or commit random acts of violence on a regular basis. That is a problem, this technology seems like a reasonable solution if it truly does deter or help apprehend the next idiot that thinks messing with the statue of Liberty is a good idea. Many of you have thought about buying one of those Costco security camera systems after you or your neighbor had their stuff stolen, burgled, vandalized etc. Why?, because it’s likely to happen again and you want to catch the bad guys. This system is the same only way better it has actual police officers monitoring it. Hot summer nights at Alki
    always seem to get the locals worked up and demanding more patrols or some kind of crime prevention well now you have it.
    Maybe you can learn to take some comfort in knowing that when you’re sitting on a park bench you’ll be a little less likely to be shot in the back of the head or that if you are the shooter will more likely be caught.

    Comment by greasyrider — 10:31 pm January 30, 2013 #

  67. @greasyrider: If you think a camera will deter crime, you deserve the crime you get. How about we actually have more cops walking a beat and getting out of their patrol cars? Yeah, badges cost money. But this surveillance plan is just a cheap bandaid that robs us all of our freedom and dignity. Wake up people!

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 10:56 pm January 30, 2013 #

  68. Meanwhile DARPA has a 1.8billion pixel camera. These being installed suck in comparison to what the fed sees you with.

    Comment by Mike — 11:48 pm January 30, 2013 #

  69. Anyone hear of the Patriot Act? Cameras at ATMs, 7 Eleven, Safeway, every single financial institution in the country, the women’s bathroom at the Cinerama??

    Everett has had cameras in downtown for decades. We are being listened to and watched ALL THE TIME. Whoop de do.

    Americans love to be watched, that’s why there are so many reality TV shows. Please for the love of god do not pretend like that isn’t true.

    Public and private are opposites of each other. I’m shocked at how many people don’t know that. I am way more scared about that than another camera. I really don’t want to see you naked or taking a dump (because those are things done in private, right?).

    Comment by J — 12:40 am January 31, 2013 #

  70. I saw them installing one on Alki four weeks ago. I asked the crew what they were putting on the pole. One guy said wifi. I asked was it a cell provider expanding to 4LTE. He said, ” It’s Big Brother – the city,” laughing nervously and shaking his head at how creepy it was. He said an official announcement would be made soon. He didn’t seem to care much for it.

    So I have pondered this since.

    King County and the cities have a gang problem. An under-reported, serious fricking problem. What good tools for gathering evidence exist? Gang culture operates so witnesses are under duress of being tagged as snitches. Criminals within gangs and the like will not be found, convicted and incarcerated without some assistance from SOMEwhere – these cameras are tools of desperation, but that is the level of infiltration of these criminals. Tragic, but we can’t put our heads in the sand about this.

    If people object to surveillance cameras with a highly specifuc target, then make damn sure law enforcement is provided the funds for more officers.

    Southwest Seattle, Burien and into South King County and eastward have gangs and there HAS to be measures taken to give some high-powered push back.

    Give the experiment a trial period or offer money to LE to pay more salaries.

    Comment by Westseattledood — 2:48 am January 31, 2013 #

  71. One comment, Heath asked earlier if we would object to kids being searched etc at school. That already happens, anything brought into a school or stored in a locker is subject to search. Schools do not need to follow the same rules for illegal searches. They are all legal even if they have no cause.

    Comment by Brandon — 10:21 am January 31, 2013 #

  72. @Brandon

    You are so incorrect. Please educate yourself on what your rights REALLY are so as not to give them up so easily
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=392-400-215

    http://www.aclu-wa.org/library_files/Guide%20for%20Public%20School%20Students.pdf
    See page 36

    Comment by me — 10:49 am January 31, 2013 #

  73. Brandon, are you comfortable with that? I’m not trying to be an argumentative troll but I’m really curious about people’s attitude about their ever dwindling rights and privacy. Every day we seem to accept more and more intrusions on our privacy in the name of safety. What does that teach our children? Are we okay with them learning in school that they have no right to privacy in their person or possessions? Is that conditioning them to accept this way of life so they won’t object when there are checkpoints around the city and state. I don’t know. I’m not some whacko NWO Illuminatti but I’m darn sure I don’t want to be surveiled and I don’t want my child searched unless there’s reasonable suspicion if a crime.

    Comment by Heath — 10:53 am January 31, 2013 #

  74. Unfortunatly, I think some people are so tied up in their self absorbed lives and are so concerned about “now”, they lack the foresight to see that everything we do now, or don’t do, will affect the future of our society. The fight to protect and maintain our rights is not for the benefit of you or me, it is for our kids and their kids.

    Comment by me — 11:58 am January 31, 2013 #

  75. WTF!!!!!!!!!!! thats what i have to say to this and so should the 99% what happened? really?

    Comment by WTF! — 2:52 pm January 31, 2013 #

  76. I think what bothers me most is the lack of info. IMO any area with cameras should inform those in the area that they are being watched.

    Comment by cj — 7:20 pm January 31, 2013 #

  77. This is what happens when you “vote” in more government. It is the “way” of our nation…we give up more and more to be “protected and taken care of.” When you vote, do you have the big picture or are you voting for your concerns only?

    Comment by The Farm — 9:59 am February 1, 2013 #

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