SAN DIEGO – In an effort to crack down on crime, a new security camera will be installed in Ocean Beach.
In July, a camera will be placed on top of the San Diego Police Department’s trailer at the foot of Newport Avenue and will mainly focus on the pier, a frequently visited attraction.
“In recent years, we have had an increase in crime and in violent homelessness,” said San Diego City Councilman Ed Harris, who spearheaded the pilot project.
A private company will monitor the system in conjunction with police, according to Harris. If the program proves to be successful, more may follow.
“Most people are aware that the police department is stretched very thin. [The department] said, ‘If we have some cameras, then that can assist us to not only deter crime but to give us evidence should we have something happen there,’” said Harris.
The Ocean Beach Hotel along with several other businesses already installed cameras of their own. The hotel manager Steve Gosch said his camera keeps an eye on the surf and is glad the new one will serve for safety.
“We’re big on public safety here. It’s a nice family friendly beach and we want to keep it that way for the entire summer,” said Gosch. “I’m not sure what [the new camera] is going to catch. Hopefully nothing.”
The $5,000 camera system was donated to the community, according to Gosch.
Some people however, feel the camera may raise a question of privacy.
“Overall I think it’s okay if it doesn’t get too crazy. I think a lot of people might think that it is an invasion of privacy, that they shouldn’t be monitored. A lot of big brother complaints I am sure are starting to pop up,” said Keenan McCollom, an Ocean Beach resident.