Seattle Police surveillance cameras: 1 installed in Admiral

April 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm | In Seattle Police surveillance cameras, West Seattle news | 59 Comments

While the final decision on activating the new Homeland Security-funded, Seattle Police-operated surveillance-camera system isn’t in yet, at least one more has been installed. Max shared the photo taken at Admiral Way Viewpoint. SPD had said this installation lagged the others (including those that first drew attention in West Seattle two months ago) because the pole they wanted to use had been hit – now it’s fixed and the camera’s in place. As reported here on Sunday, which at one point was the SPD deadline for activating the cameras, Mayor McGinn‘s office says they’re still expecting SPD to set up more community meetings. They had two in March, one at Alki, one in Belltown; the cameras were originally described as “port security” but are in place in recreational/residential areas as well as other spots, with 30 designated sites in all from Fauntleroy to Ballard.

59 Comments

  1. Mother Russia is proud

    Comment by mike — 7:12 pm April 3, 2013 #

  2. Any chance that the cameras can be made operational soon? Or are the Tea Baggers still in an uproar?

    Comment by Turn 'em On — 7:27 pm April 3, 2013 #

  3. It will only get worse from here. Welcome to 1984.

    Comment by 1984 — 7:27 pm April 3, 2013 #

  4. Why in recreational/residential areas, etc.??? Do we really now have “big brother?”

    Comment by Faith4 — 7:34 pm April 3, 2013 #

  5. Great
    Now what a shame one was not installed near where the woman jogger was attacked this morning
    We would have the creep behind bars

    Comment by Mn — 7:37 pm April 3, 2013 #

  6. Freedom knows no party. Stand strong fellow freedom lovers. Stand up and say no every time. Whether it’s George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama signing off on this hysteria… It is never okay to relinquish freedom.

    Comment by Tuesday — 8:06 pm April 3, 2013 #

  7. Turn ‘em On = LOL!

    The TBs have nothing better to b!+@# about. And, Mn, I’m with you on that one!

    Comment by WTF — 8:24 pm April 3, 2013 #

  8. Yes, turn them on…install them on every street, every half-block or so…we will all be “safe”.
    Crime will disappear, and we can all sleep soundly, knowing that only the most trustworthy, competent, wise, fair-minded, unbiased, god-loving, freedom-loving, justice-loving, USA-loving individuals are watching over us, every minute, every day.
    (Ultimate irony–the ones who detest the government, and purport to love liberty, are the very ones 100% in support of having the government scrutinize and analyze our every move—oh, the humanity.)

    Comment by anti-obstruction — 8:40 pm April 3, 2013 #

  9. We need cameras!! We are not safe without them!! We need McDonalds! We need floruide in the water!! We need these things like we need a hole in the head… Take responsibility of your own safety and stop thinking these cameras are here to solve any real issues. It’s about conditioning to be good subjects

    Comment by Scared to walk down the street — 8:57 pm April 3, 2013 #

  10. I am ashamed of what we’ve become. Tomorrow, I will go fish a river far from cameras, far from this madness. I will feel free, if only for a few hours. This is insane.

    Comment by chuck and sally's van man — 9:01 pm April 3, 2013 #

  11. Just like London. A camera’d up society in total control. The Feds have LOTS of money to get their surveillance on.

    Comment by Doitquick — 9:03 pm April 3, 2013 #

  12. @WTF – Discussing modern surveillance technology in the US v. Jones case, Justice Sotomayor opined that “Awareness that the Government may be watching chills associational and expressive freedoms. And the Government’s unrestrained power to assemble data that reveal private aspects of identity is susceptible to abuse”. Do you consider Justice Sotomayor to be a “Tea Bagger”? The DOJ has found that the SPD has a pattern of Fourth Amendment violations and unconstitutional policing. Its reasonable for us to be concerned about this department controlling a dragnet surveillance network.

    Comment by Molly — 9:04 pm April 3, 2013 #

  13. And let’s find some way to squeeze in a final salvo against the “Tea Baggers.” Take THAT, you Tea Baggers!

    Only in Seattle. What a bizarre city.

    Comment by G — 9:27 pm April 3, 2013 #

  14. The original “Tea Bagger” comments only underscore the ignorance of the commentators, as to who/what Tea Baggers are…I find it highly unlikey Tea Baggers would be against the cameras, even though, of course, governmental intrusion (of this sort, at least) is in direct contradiction of what they claim to cherish and support.

    Comment by anti-obstruction — 9:28 pm April 3, 2013 #

  15. Anti obstruction – you assume in error.

    Comment by Gene — 9:32 pm April 3, 2013 #

  16. I would like one in my neighborhood. Where do I sign up?

    Comment by WsBoB — 10:02 pm April 3, 2013 #

  17. anti-obstruction,

    You are using the well-worn and disengenuous argumentum absurdum, e.g., if one is for limited gov’t they must be against ALL gov’t. And then with this faulty logic, you pull a contradiction out of the hat. Voila!

    Actually, Tea Baggers are MORE likely to be afraid of government – rightly or wrongly – that is leaning towards what they percieve as the left, locally and nationally.

    And no, most of us aren’t jumping up and down about the installation of cameras – who in their right mind would be.

    Comment by G — 10:06 pm April 3, 2013 #

  18. Turn em on!

    Comment by Norma — 10:18 pm April 3, 2013 #

  19. It sucks that it’s come to this……but we hear over and over crime rates are down, compared to what? Bur on the flip side, it’s not a bad idea to have these near the exits out of here! If I can have my photo snapped in a school zone, a bank robber, assaulter or a shooter should have the same right.

    Comment by Bsmomma — 10:19 pm April 3, 2013 #

  20. Right by my bus stop. Fun! I’ll see if I can talk the other Metro riders who wait at that stop into doing something fun for the camera. YMCA dance, anyone? Interpretive dance of all the repeat debates in the WSB comments? Dress up in jail garb? Hang a sign from the bus shelter that reads “Can you see me now?”. The possibilities are endless…

    Comment by SLS — 11:01 pm April 3, 2013 #

  21. Thank you, Molly.

    Comment by Chris W — 11:36 pm April 3, 2013 #

  22. How do we know they are not on now?

    Comment by bj — 12:57 am April 4, 2013 #

  23. Would anyone be against me buying a license plate recognition camera (only $1800), installing it on my property on Admiral hill, then broadcasting the license plates that enter and leave WS, say on Twitter? I can even provide a service where you enter the license plates you want to know about and I’ll email you when they pass by. Even better, I can walk around WS at night geotagging license plate locations, then as they pass by an interactive map will show where they live. All of this is totally legal, what’s the harm?

    Comment by ruse — 1:03 am April 4, 2013 #

  24. Lets make it a West Seattle tradition to wave at the cameras when ever we see them. Kind of like saying yea we are watching your cameras while they are watching us.

    Comment by cj — 1:03 am April 4, 2013 #

  25. I can’t belive some off you people. There are homeland cameras all over the city. Every time you drive down 35th towards the bridge there are two cameras in each lane facing the rear of your car. These are called licene plate cameras and there everywhere. Juntion, alki, bridges…I know for a fact that these cameras are looking up your plates. Those little cameras on alki aren’t going to make a difference in safety. They won’t stop a crime from happining. They just create more fear in year little neighborhood. Get over it. There not going away.

    Comment by Two Cameras — 6:33 am April 4, 2013 #

  26. Go ahead trust SPD. They have proven themselves to be worthy of it.

    Comment by M — 7:48 am April 4, 2013 #

  27. What is the point of having cameras to catch criminals if we just let them go free anyway?
    .
    There is still no reform on juvenile gun possession. An armed, dangerous underage thug will get home detention and community service but no jail time for up to 4 gun possession violations.

    Comment by JoAnne — 8:03 am April 4, 2013 #

  28. @two cameras, of course they wont stop a crime but at least (even if only a few occasions
    0 they may help identify the perpetrator.
    I dont get why people are so upset , and yes wave to them and dance to them if you wish , who cares.

    Comment by Mn — 8:09 am April 4, 2013 #

  29. If you think we don’t need flouride in the water, check out the teeth in 40+-year-olds in the UK. No one said cameras were going to stop crime, so dispense with the exaggerations. They are just a tool, like metal-detectors and background checks.

    Comment by AE — 8:18 am April 4, 2013 #

  30. I love how SPD is trying to rebuild community trust by lying. “It’s port security. Um…that park is a port now.” Remember that if you video tape them as they act on your legal behalf (not a crime, by the way) they may seize your camera and assault you. I volunteered with the police for several years. Keep in mind that they don’t respect you one lick when you think about their choices. They put on a good show at community meetings, but behind closed doors, citizen is a four letter word.

    Comment by rebecca — 8:50 am April 4, 2013 #

  31. I love how people are now pointing to the red light cameras for support that these more intrusive cameras are ok, there’s nothing wrong, and they’re not going away. I wonder what they’ll be considering in the future when pointing to these cameras, saying, “Look, we’ve got all these survelience cameras around, can’t do anything about those, so get used to _________.” Slippery slope indeed.

    Comment by D — 9:53 am April 4, 2013 #

  32. Hey anti-camera folks, what if this was your property?

    http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2013/04/03/three-bad-apples-wanted-for-iphone-robbery/

    Comment by DTK — 10:02 am April 4, 2013 #

  33. Remember “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”? This is that inch.
    You may not live to regret it, but your children and grand children very well might.

    Comment by S — 10:07 am April 4, 2013 #

  34. SLS I’m with you! I’m so tempted to do something ridiculous like streaking…

    Comment by Heather — 10:22 am April 4, 2013 #

  35. I do wonder that if the thugs know there are cameras on the main streets they will just move most of their activities to the side street instead -you know-where most of us live. I really do not want a camera in front of my house. I do not like the idea of these invasions of privacy at all. We have been conditioned to accept them more and more.Supposed to help keep us “safe” yet we are no more safe than we ever were without this stuff.I’ve seen a lot of our freedoms, our privacy disappear in my lifetime. It makes me sick that others give in so easily.To be safe.
    As for the fluoride in the water?It is not necessary. It is a poison. It does no good to drink it as it has to be on your teeth to do anything. Toothpaste,mouthwashes with fluoride and the dentists fluoride treatments work…drinking water does not.You want fluoride use those things. Forced medicating is what fluoride in the water is.Think about it.

    Comment by Uhoh — 10:23 am April 4, 2013 #

  36. @DTK, seriously, iPhone theft. Who cares. My iPhone doesn’t need protection.

    Comment by ruse — 10:37 am April 4, 2013 #

  37. So what we’re seeing is that the city and one of the most corrupt police forces in the country have not only straight out lied about halting the use but really have the huevos to just go ahead and install after huge public outcry.

    The vets who drive by these camera have to wonder what this country is coming to.

    Comment by Neighbor — 10:52 am April 4, 2013 #

  38. Мы все коммунисты сейчас, товарищ!

    Comment by S — 11:05 am April 4, 2013 #

  39. DTK, I’d be mad that my iphone got stolen, mad that there was no police officer nearby (why pay for a cop, there’s a camera?), and mad that evidently the thief is still loose, in spite of the camera.

    Comment by D — 11:38 am April 4, 2013 #

  40. Oh, and DTK? I’d be especially mad if I were one of those people just standing around in the background who have now had their images plastered over the web, without their consent, for anyone to use or misuse however they wish.

    Comment by D — 11:42 am April 4, 2013 #

  41. @Ruse, you miss the point. Substitute the iPhone for a loved one and let’s see how you feel.

    Comment by DTK — 11:43 am April 4, 2013 #

  42. Then there is this..

    http://www.alternet.org/suddenly-nypd-doesnt-love-surveillance-anymore?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

    Comment by Uhoh — 11:44 am April 4, 2013 #

  43. This is no surprise. Barely 100 West Seattle folks were willing to sign a petition against them, and only a handful vocally protested them at meetings. Seems most in West Seattle see nothing wrong with being surveilled by the police, and some look forward to it. Research shows no benefits of ingesting fluoride, but some believe it makes people more compliant.

    Comment by CE — 12:33 pm April 4, 2013 #

  44. @Neighbor: I imagine the vets are thinking we’ve thrown this town to the dogs. Or the cats. Maybe the birds?

    Comment by brian — 12:40 pm April 4, 2013 #

  45. days of freedom are over, I bet more people will vote republican next time

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 1:13 pm April 4, 2013 #

  46. @DTK, my wife has been held at gun point and pistol whipped, she stood her ground and luckily the cowards left. But the camera wouldn’t have helped, they were wearing ski masks. This was behind the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, which is a fairly nice area of NYC. I think I know a little bit about loved ones being in danger. Thank you very much.

    Comment by ruse — 1:14 pm April 4, 2013 #

  47. Most likely the weasels.

    Comment by Rick — 1:27 pm April 4, 2013 #

  48. I’m shocked that any of the anti-camera crowd ever make it out of the house. We’re all being watched all the time, and information about us is being collected everywhere we go. Your neighbor knows you leave for work at 7:35 each morning, how dare he keep track of your personal life like that? The checkout lady at the drugstore knows you bought a box of condoms last week, what an invasion of privacy! The Starbucks barista knows your order by heart, how dare he retain information about you! Come on people, you have no expectation of privacy in public. That’s why it’s called “in public”. Once you leave your front door, you are exposed to the whole world, and open for scrutiny. So what if some cameras see you. Get over yourselves.

    Comment by higgins — 1:29 pm April 4, 2013 #

  49. Perhaps we have different definitions of freedom… but I feel are a lot more free now that I can smoke a joint and marry whoever I want. I haven’t changed a single thing in my life – and won’t – knowing that there is a camera less than 100 feet from my house.

    Comment by james — 1:47 pm April 4, 2013 #

  50. S – don’t suffer under the Communist hammer before it’s even been swung ;)

    Comment by Heather — 2:05 pm April 4, 2013 #

  51. @CE – I hope not. Please let the council and the mayor know your opinion. There is someone there to take your message. You do not need to leave your name. Mayor: 206 684-4000, mike.mcginn@seattle.gov, Council member Bruce Harrell: 206 684-8804, Bruce.harrell@seattle.gov; Nick Licata: 206 684-8803, nick.licata@seattle.gov; Mike O’Brien: 206 684-8800, mike.obrien@seattle.gov; Sally Bagshaw: 206 684-8801, Sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov. The 4 council members are on the Public Safety, technology committee that decides on these issues.

    There is also a city hall open house this Saturday from 10am-2pm.

    It is our right and our privilege to speak up. If we don’t on this issue, we will stand to lose a lot more. If that jogger was running in low light, would a camera really help? As for the cell phone robbery, only one guy’s face looked clear enough to identify. Does that stop robbery? There are studies that show that cameras displace crime. The ACLU and others frequently cite this as an issue. I see at least 2 big issues here. 1) the nation becoming (or places already) a police state and 2) the arrogance of the police for sneaking in the cameras even though we are still in the vetting stage. Unless the council is lying, they claim not to have been informed that cameras were going in. I’m a little skeptical but will watch their responses.

    Comment by citizen — 2:06 pm April 4, 2013 #

  52. Perhaps fluoride is slightly mind-altering, making citizens more passive and thus more accepting of surveillance cameras ;-)

    Comment by twobottles — 5:30 pm April 4, 2013 #

  53. @ higgins: Someone working at a store seeing me buy a condom or my neighbor seeing me leave my house is great. Usually, I know these people and I know my neighbors are nice and watch out for me. What I have a problem with is government, Homeland Security and other law enforcement spying on innocent civilians and then keeping this information, making guesses about who is possibly a criminal and the doing a warrantless search and spy operation that wouldn’t by signed by judge. We are taking our society down a road to become the Soviet Union. It is easy for most ordinary people with no intent of criminal behavior to assume that there is nothing wrong with this but it does suppress activism which is an important part of our rights. I don’t like how SPD is handling the spy cameras and if you have gone to any of their meetings, they assume that it will be turned on. They don’t seem to have an interest in listening to people. The Mayor said there would be a vetting. I am expecting that and holding him and the council to there promise. BTW, I am not a libertarian or a member of the Tea Party but Rand Paul got it right on this issue. (Only on this issue but also involving the use of drones on American citizens.)

    Comment by Citizen — 8:09 pm April 4, 2013 #

  54. I cant believe some of the comments. “Oh well if we had cameras every 10ft we would be safe” Maybe if we were all forced to have a drone follow us all day everyday we could really be safe. I would rather take a chance in life than to live with cameras watching my every move. Oh wait if you don’t want a camera watching you it’s apparently because you’re a tea bagger.

    Comment by gfys — 9:10 pm April 4, 2013 #

  55. In the morning slaves. Livin the mac and cheese life.

    Comment by ITM — 9:11 pm April 4, 2013 #

  56. can’t anyone defend them selves anymore. America got weak in a hurry

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 5:49 am April 5, 2013 #

  57. I’m just saying that the anti-camera folks must think they’re pretty important if they think The Government really wants to watch them pick their noses and take out their trash. So while I think it’s unlikely that these cameras will stop a major terrorist attack or anything, I think the chances are high that they can be used to help deter crime in general and catch the bad guys after a crime has been committed. Consider the brutal beating of the guy at WSU last weekend – his attackers were caught on camera. Pullman police used grant money to install these cameras, and lo and behold, they have some nice clear video of three douchey-looking knuckle-draggers and their floozy companion fleeing the scene. To me, that kind of surveillance doesn’t qualify as “spying on innocent civilians”. http://www.komonews.com/news/local/WSU-faculty-member-David-Warner-in-critical-condition-after-beating-201509731.html

    Comment by higgins — 8:10 am April 5, 2013 #

  58. completely agree with you Higgins. These people are crying about being on camera thinking someone actually cares about watching them do everyday activities. Do you people not realize that once you leave your house for work or whatever you do during the day you are going to be recorded on multiple cameras at multiple times and you won’t even realize it. It is the era of the camera so why are you people so afraid of the people in charge of protecting us using something everyone else uses? I know a guy that worked in loss prevention for a big retail store and he had access to all of their security cameras and he saw multiple things on those cameras and he could even see what was going on outside on the street. If your everyday security guard can watch you, what is wrong with the highly trained professionals using these cameras to protect you? Look at what just happened this week! Police used cameras to ID the idiot that almost killed that driver for hire. I bet Gregette Guys friends and family wish there was a camera where she was murdered. If there was, the murderer might not be on the streets still or better yet Gregette might still be alive because the killer would have known he was on camera. Put the cameras up! Catch the bad guys! If you are doing nothing wrong who cares if you are on camera!

    Comment by a — 1:17 pm April 5, 2013 #

  59. The issue is that the video will be available online 24/7 for ANYONE to watch. People in witness protection programs, with TS clearances, who have ex-family members who wish them ill, those in domestic violence situations would be some examples of people who think they are and are pretty important. Who cares if the cops want to watch you, but when the people who do wish you ill have access to video online of your neighborhood, your parking spot, and probably eventually your front door, there is an issue. Take the video offline and I would be much happier.

    Comment by ruse — 4:03 pm April 5, 2013 #

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