Lake City

City pushes forward with controversial surveillance program

City pushes forward with controversial surveillance program »Play Video
SEATTLE -- The eyes in the sky have more attention than ever.

Seattle police spent nearly two hours explaining more about the privacy masking and other concerns for the 30 surveillance cameras being installed along waterways.

They say officers will have restricted access to the system and they also pledged more transparency to the public.

"Where privacy is definitely an issue and concern, I would like to say it's not 'versus' anything," said Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh.

Camera supporter Ronald Deshayes wasn't sure why there was so much criticism.

"What if somebody was down here say, going to mug that lady? That camera's going to pick it up. It's for our safety," he said.

Police say citizens will be able to access the cameras just like WSDOT traffic cams, but recordings will only be stored for 30 days before being deleted.

After years of technical problems with dash cam videos, we asked about public access to police misconduct caught on tape.

"That's always a case. If there's an active investigation, we won't release the video," McDonagh said.

Some still aren't sold on the cameras, in part because many of the systems weren't discussed until after the cameras were installed.

"I feel weird that they didn't ask about it at first," said Nickolas Nicoloudikas.

Other residents said they didn't think all the wireless security systems are in place. They want to have cameras and a mesh network but they haven't really thought through all of the consequences of it," said Lee Colleton.

SPD says it will continue to do a thorough vetting process and that includes another scheduled public meeting next Tuesday the 19th at 7pm at the Belltown Community Center, 415 Bell Street.