VIDEO: Pittsburg city council votes to allow police to monitor freeway cameras in hopes of stopping shootings

 

PITTSBURG (KRON) — The Pittsburg city council unanimously voted on Monday night to allow the police department to monitor freeway cameras in hopes of stopping the shootings plaguing the roadways.

There is an average of one car shooting per week on Bay Area freeways, and most of them are in the East Bay.

In a unanimous 5-0 vote in favor of the partnership between Pittsburg police and Caltrans, who is investing $3.5 million to combat this growing violence on East Bay highways.

The money is going to pay for adding more technology along Highways 4 and 80 where most of the more than 100 shootings in the past two years have taken place.

Tools like ShotSpotter, wireless cameras, and microphones, along with plate readers, will be installed.

But it’s those same tools that worry opponents of the expansion project, who say this will invade the privacy of commuters uninvolved in these violent acts.

“Well, I think it’s pretty clear there was a lot of vagueness about where all of this data is ending up,” Oakland Privacy spokeswoman Tracy Rosenberg said. “When you’re dealing with mass bulk surveillance, as I said, at least 99 percent of the video collected here has nothing to do with the crime. So, question is, who has access to it? Who is it being shared with? And where is it ending up?”

But the police chief points to what he calls a success with cameras already in place, saying since they’ve gone up, the Pittsburg portion of the highway has not seen one shooting.

There is no mention of when the expansion project will start.

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