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Imperial Beach considers adding infrared cameras at beach

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — The Imperial Beach City Council is expected to accept a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to install new infrared cameras that would provide an added layer of safety for beach-goers and could come in handy when it comes to border security.

ib-pierThe cameras will be installed at the lifeguard station and on the pier.  City leaders say the new high-tech help will give lifeguards a much better view of the beach — especially during the winter when fewer lifeguards are on duty.

“The infrared gives us a new capability of being able to find bodies in the water – especially at dusk or after dark when it’s very difficult for the lifeguards to be able to see them in the water,” said City Manager Andy Hall.

Imperial Beach is getting a $125,000 grant from DHS that will cover the cost of cameras, installation and maintenance for three years.

Cameras could also help with border security — with a clear shot to the mouth of the Tijuana River.

“Border security is one of the primary concerns that we have in our community.  We want to make sure if there are people arriving in our community improperly – whether it’s on jet skis or swimming or other means – it gives us one more tool to be able to protect residents,” said Hall.

Once the city council accepts the grant and buys the cameras, they would likely be installed two to three months later.

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