General Crime

* Gilroy Installing Street Cameras to Deter Crime

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The first of up to six security cameras has been installed in downtown Gilroy to deter crime and improve the quality of life in the area. The first camera was mounted in the intersection of Monterey Road and Fifth Street last month after some members of the Downtown Business Association expressed concerns to the Gilroy Police Department regarding perceived crime in the area, according to police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao. Then, following a series of meetings the merchants partnered with the city to buy up to about $50,000 in cameras, with the two entities splitting the cost.

Eric Howard, president of the Downtown Business Association, said the cameras provide a cost-saving benefit to the city. “We feel this is going to help,” Howard said. “To me it’s a great, great value.” The five other cameras will be installed throughout downtown by the end of the year as soon as the hardware and software specifications are finalized, Gallacinao said. A large monitor will be installed at the Police Department for police to survey the cameras when crimes are reported and during subsequent investigations.

The first camera cost $4,000 but the price for each camera will vary according to its specifications, Gallacinao said. He said the cameras are fixed, but will have the ability to pan, tilt and zoom with the ability to capture footage from up to a block away. Gallacinao said police are acknowledging the concerns of some residents over being recorded. “I know people are very concerned about their privacy,” he said. “We are going to be putting up signs letting people know they’re being recorded.”

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