EL CAJON, Calif. — San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents the area including El Cajon, awarded the City of El Cajon a more than $40,000 grant from county funds to purchase another mobile camera trailer. This will be El Cajon Police Department’s second mobile camera trailer.

According to Anderson, the trailer cameras can record areas and reduce the need for officers to patrol.

“When people know that you’re watching, it’s less likely they’ll do criminal behavior,” Anderson said.

“We’re a growing city and growing cities unfortunately need things like this, so we will allocate it wherever we see a problem to keep people safe,” El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said.

Anderson said the additional mobile camera unit can be a tool to help police keep an eye on if and when migrants are dropped off in El Cajon. Wells said the cameras can also help police know how to respond to situations if they can see it before.

“When you leave people off in the middle of the night on the street, they are prone to criminal behavior, so we want to make sure they were not victims,” Anderson said. “And that we weren’t attracting criminal elements in our community.” 

Anderson said while no asylum seeker has been a victim of violence in El Cajon, he believes this surveillance is a way to be proactive.

“We want to make sure they were welcomed and they were not prey by the criminal element, but we also want to balance that by protecting our local citizens,” Anderson said.

The El Cajon Police Department said the mobile camera trailers can be used for events, areas of high complaints, or where asylum seekers are typically dropped off by border patrol agents. In December, that location was at the Main Street trolley station, it’s something El Cajon leaders are keeping an eye on, but believe this new mobile camera trailer will help.

“We don’t necessarily have the law enforcement everywhere all the time, but we can have a dispatcher monitor and they can dispatch someone immediately,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the grant goes into the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.

The El Cajon Police Department said it could take between 14-90 days to get the new monitoring system.