BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills is beginning a pilot program to install closed-circuit television security cameras in residential areas of the city in an effort to fight crime.
The decision was brought up at the Beverly Hills City Council’s study session on January 22.
According to a press release from Elisabeth Albanese from the Beverly Hills Police Department, current plans include an expansion of CCTV cameras into residential neighborhoods as a mechanism to prevent crime, apprehend suspects and increase public safety. Cameras will be strategically placed in key areas within the city with significant
consideration for the privacy interests of residents.
The cameras are to be set up at various intersections across the city. Some will be located by the Hawthorne and Horace Munn elementary schools, where there are already cameras set up. Others will be set up at the intersection of Elevado Avenue and Rexford Drive, as well as intersections at Carmelita Avenue and Rexford Drive, Hamel Drive and Charleville Boulevard, and Robertson and Charleville Boulevards. There will be a total of around 600 cameras.
The program is not a first for Southern California, as other cities in the region have also installed the surveillance equipment. The security cameras were approved by the Beverly Hills Police Department. In a report to city council members, Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli, Chief Information Officer David Schirmer and Director of Public Works Shana Epstein pointed out that while Beverly Hills does not currently have the cameras, “cities like Chicago, New Orleans, and Minneapolis have extensive law enforcement camera operations.”
The report went on, saying “closer to home, cities such as Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside, South Gate, Glendale, and Pasadena, all have installed cameras to varying extents.”
According to the official report, “only a handful of residents” spoke up in opposition to the program. To clarify that the new cameras would not be invasive, the report noted that the program does “not include pointing cameras at a residence; rather, activity in the-right-of-way (street and sidewalk) is what is being captured.”
“The City Council is in full support of this absolutely essential technology,” said Mayor
Lili Bosse. “We must send a clear message that the City of Beverly Hills is watching
and criminals will be caught and prosecuted.”