VIDEO: California funds surveillance cameras on Bay Area highways in hopes of deterring violence


MARTINEZ (KRON) — Over the past two years, dozens of shootings have been happening along Highway 4 and Interstate 80 between Richmond and Antioch.

Both political leaders and law enforcement have been calling on the state to help crack down on the ongoing violence.

And that assistance is finally here.

Over the past two years, car-to-car shootings on East Bay freeways have become an all-too-common occurrence.

“In Contra Costa County alone, there have been 35 confirmed shootings,” Sr. Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox said. “Meaning, confirmed by bullet strikes, and there have been eight fatalities.”

Knox is saying that thanks to the Department of Transportation, help is on the way in the form state funding.

$1.5 million will be used to set up a special surveillance camera network using ShotSpotter technology

“This will be the first system of its kind in the State of California,” Knox said. “So, we are definitely breaking ground in terms of law enforcement here in the State of California.”

Knox says the makers of ShotSpotter designed a special system that will filter out noise from surface streets and isolate sound, like gunfire generated only on the freeway.

“ShotSpotter had to re-engineer for us,” Knox said. “When there are shots fired up on the freeway, ShotSpotter will turn the cameras in the direction of the gunfire, an alert will be sent to our task force commander, so we will basically have law enforcement eyes on the freeway within seconds of the shooting.”

The surveillance camera network will cover west to Interstate 80 in Richmond to east Highway 4 in Antioch.

The command center will be housed here at the Pittsburg Police Department.

The D.A.’s office anticipates installation of the cameras to begin over the summer.



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