That’s the Seattle Police surveillance camera/wireless-mesh installation at 63rd and Beach Drive, not far from one of Mayor Ed Murray‘s boyhood homes. In our one-on-one interview with him Friday, we asked when he expected activation of that camera and the 30-plus others installed without notice early last year. WSB readers’ questions led to stories here, then in the citywide media, and eventually Murray’s predecessor promised a “thorough public vetting” before activation – a few public meetings followed (the last one was 10 months ago) – while City Councilmembers passed a law a year ago requiring a usage policy to be approved first too. That hasn’t happened yet. And that’s one reason, the mayor told us, he doesn’t expect them to be used for “a long time,” if ever:
The “money” to which he referred was a federal Homeland Security grant. As reported in another of our early stories about the cameras, councilmembers had voted in 2012 to approved the grant that funded the cameras, but the plan was described only as “port security,” without word the cameras would be installed in recreational and residential areas.
Tomorrow, two more stories from our conversation with the mayor, including his take on the alley-vacation controversy for the 4755 Fauntleroy Way development (archived coverage here), two weeks before it goes back to the City Council Transportation Committee.
(Installment #1, published earlier: Can anything be done about West Seattle Bridge traffic?)