• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

SDPD advocates use of surveillance technologies in streetlights


Mar 17, 2023

San Diego Police Division has been advertising the use of Clever Streetlights and Automated License Plate Recognition technologies to conduct investigations and improve police response and public security.

The new technologies are proposed to be integrated in the City’s Surveillance Ordinance, which needs City Council approval of technologies employed to monitor and recognize men and women.

If Clever Streetlight and ALP Recognition technologies are eventually adopted by the City, annual reports outlining their intended use will be needed. A newly made privacy advisory board will also have to sign off on and monitor police use of the new technologies.

Capt. Jeff Jordon, of SDPD Chief’s Workplace/legislative affairs and specific projects, has been providing extended public presentations explaining the require for and advocating police use of, the new Clever Streetlights and ALP Recognition technologies.

“We’re obtaining meetings to solicit public feedback and comments that will get translated into a neighborhood influence report to be presented to what is now recognized as a Privacy Advisory Board,” stated Jordon. “The PAB will be tasked with listening to this details and saying this is a superior thought – or reject it – in their suggestions to the City Council.”

The Clever Streetlights project started as a expense-saving work by the City to replace higher-power-use streetlights with a lot more effective LED lights. Several of the three,200 sensible streetlights installed in public spaces citywide had been also equipped with sensors employed to create processed information which includes pedestrian and automobile movement, along with parking activity as nicely as normal environmental measures of temperature, stress, and humidity.

The use of information from Clever Streetlights started in 2018. But that practice was suspended soon after two years of use in 2020, due to legal issues that their implementation could infringe on privacy rights.

“From the police department’s standpoint, Clever Streetlights and ALP Recognition technologies are each definitely effective tools,” stated Jordon adding, “But they raised all sorts of issues due to the fact no policies and procedures had been right away created for their use.”

Jordon noted SDPD has 125 beats covering 350 square miles. He stated police have studied exactly where 500 Clever Streetlight cameras could most effective be deployed to “have the greatest instant influence on crime.”

Throughout the two years when Clever Streetlight information was permitted to be employed by police, Jordon noted there had been clear-reduce situations exactly where the overview of the information solved crimes. He gave 1 instance exactly where a murder Downtown recorded by a Clever Streetlight camera confirmed that a man charged with murder in a shooting had truly been acting in self-defense.

Relating to ALP readers, Jordon noted they “take a snapshot of license plates that tells us the make and model of the vehicle.” But he added ALP readers “don’t inform us who the driver or the registered owner is or who the passengers are. In quick, it does not give us a person’s identifying details.”

Jordon stated ALP readers have also established to be helpful. “There has been a lot of advantage to us employing that information in identifying suspects,” he stated adding ALP Recognition has also been employed in databases looking for stolen automobiles or in Amber Alerts to search for missing or kidnapped young children.

The use of the new Clever Streetlight and ALP Recognition technologies could also assist out with SDPD’s ongoing personnel shortage. “We have roughly 1,850 officers in the City proper now,” Jordon noted. “We’re the second lowest-staffed division, behind only San Jose, for a city of a lot more than 500,000 persons.”

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