We’ve just finished covering the third and, it appears, final Seattle Police-led public meeting about the surveillance cameras they’ve installed along with a wireless communication system, paid for by federal Department of Homeland Security dollars. For those who are interested but couldn’t make the meeting – announced last Tuesday night, held on this pre-holiday-weekend Friday night – we rolled video on the entire meeting and will upload it when we’re back at WSB HQ. The attendees who weren’t media or police numbered about eight. A few toplines, right now:
*The system first envisioned as having 30 cameras will total 28 – an Alki Point site near the lighthouse didn’t work out technically, SPD says. As previously announced, they also dropped a camera planned for Golden Gardens, which is where tonight’s meeting was held. All but one of the 28 cameras are now installed; the 28th, in Shilshole just outside Golden Gardens, is awaiting a fix for a cracked pole. (At right, one of the two cameras in central Alki.)
*The southernmost camera, on Fauntleroy Way over the southbound bus stop by the ferry dock, might focus on traffic bound for the dock, by request of Washington State Ferries, but SPD says that agency’s request for view-only access to the cameras hasn’t yet been approved.
*The nine camera locations on/near the downtown waterfront are “temporary” and likely to change because of the tunnel/seawall construction.
*The e-mail account set up by SPD for feedback on the camera system – firstname.lastname@example.org – has received a total of “about 20” e-mails, 80 percent of them expressing opposition/concern.
Otherwise, the meeting followed the same format of the previous two, held in March on Alki and in Belltown, also led by Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh and Det. Monty Moss. SPD was also represented tonight by public affairs Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. What’s next: Mayor McGinn had said the cameras wouldn’t get the green light until a “thorough public vetting” had taken place so we’ll be checking with his office post-holiday-weekend. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, the aforementioned e-mailbox remains open.
ADDED SATURDAY MORNING, 9:24 AM: Our meeting video is finally ready, and is now atop this story.