NewsLocal News


Committee rejects proposed Smart Streetlight safeguards in favor of broader policy

Posted at 11:46 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 15:02:28-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee rejected a proposed policy that would provide safeguards and oversight for the Smart Streetlight program.

The program was introduced in 2016, and met with suspicion. "It caught everyone by surprise last year and even the police department was not even aware of the camera capability until August 2018," advocate Jean-Huy Tran said at the committee meeting Wednesday.

READ RELATED: News conference turns into confrontation over "smart streetlights"

The subject was hotly debated by the public. Some, including the Racial Justice Coalition and downtown businesses, supported the policy proposed during the meeting.

The TRUST coalition as well as community members who spoke out opposed the policy saying the program needs more oversight, transparency and community involvement.

"Like that blind spot like why are the cameras only in the South Bay in colored communities," Tran said.

Presenters with the Sustainability Department and Chief of Police David Nisleit told the committee the cameras do not pan or zoom. There is no facial recognition or license plate reading capabilities and private property is blocked from view.

The video is stored for five days on the camera, then recorded over. There is also no sound recorded, according to Cody Hooven with the Sustainability Department.

The committee voted against the policy in favor of a more broad policy covering all surveillance technologies, like drones, in the city.