Proposal would tap into private citizens' security cameras
Voluntary participation by residents seen as potentially powerful tool in helping San Jose, Calif. police solve crimes
By Mike Rosenberg
San Jose Mercury-News
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police would be able to tap into private video camera recordings from San Jose residents who agree to provide access to authorities under a new proposal that would expand investigators' watchful eye over the city but already is raising big brother-type privacy concerns.
Councilman Sam Liccardo's proposal, unveiled Thursday and set to be discussed by a City Council committee next week, would allow property owners voluntarily to register their security cameras for a new San Jose Police Department database. Officers then would be able to access the footage quickly after a nearby crime has occurred.
It is the latest effort designed to shore up public safety in a city that has seen its reputation as one of the safest big cities in America take a hit in recent years as crime rates have surged and officers have left in droves. The issue is taking center stage heading into the June primary to replace outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed as five local leaders jockey for position as tough-on-crime candidates.