(The southernmost camera, by the Fauntleroy ferry dock)
The City Council committee that first approved receiving a federal grant for the surveillance cameras that are going up in West Seattle and elsewhere will take another look at it next week. That’s what Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Technology, and Civil Rights Committee (and a candidate for mayor), told WSB late today, as part of a lengthy response to our request for comment:
I have scheduled SPD to be at the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology committee on February 20, 2pm to discuss this issue. The committee is currently examining legislation to prevent the cameras from operating in residential zones and disabling the 360 degree feature to prevent the cameras from viewing any residential buildings. I am requiring legislation to restrict its use and protect the public’s privacy before they can go online. I have always asked SPD to be proactive in its community outreach and SPD should have held meetings with the community adjacent to the proposed locations before any installations.
More to come on Councilmember Harrell’s plan. It’s been two weeks since we broke the news about the camera network, after WSB readers noticed two of the half-dozen cameras that by that time were clearly visible in the greater Alki area. Back on Monday, we reported Mayor McGinn’s first public comments on the cameras, including his promise of a “thorough public vetting” before they become operational. The 30-camera network is planned to stretch from Golden Gardens in Ballard southward to the camera you see in our photo, next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock.