Apr 232020
 

On April 21, 2020, the San Leandro City Council was scheduled to consider installing 10 surveillance cameras in areas recommended by the police department. However, the agenda item came the day after San Leandro police shot and killed Steve Taylor at a local Walmart. Publicity surrounding the shooting, including cell phone video from a bystander, led to outrage that may have caused city staff to pull the item off of the agenda.

There are already 12 surveillance cameras installed around the city that were originally used for traffic monitoring, but were converted to surveillance cameras and have been used since at least 2012.

CameraIntersectionMonitoring Streets
1Bancroft / Estudillo AvenueBancroft Ave (north leg)
2Marina / Merced StreetMarina Blvd (east leg)
3Hesperian / Halcyon StreetHesperian Blvd (south leg)
4Hesperian / SpringlakeHesperian Blvd (north leg)
5Marina / Teagarden StreetMarina Blvd (west leg)
6Washington / SpringlakeWashington Ave (south leg)
7E. 14th / Hesperian BlvdE. 14th St (north leg)
8E. 14th / San Leandro BlvdE. 14th St (north leg)
9E. 14th / Davis Street (SR 185-112)Davis St (west leg)
10Davis / Orchard AvenueDavis St (west leg)
11Davis / Polvorosa OverpassDavis St (east leg)
12Davis / San Leandro BlvdSan Leandro (south leg)

The $103,000 cost comes at a time when city revenues from sales taxes and other sources are declining drastically. Cal Matters recently reported, ā€œCity hall leaders now face an unsavory menu of service cuts, furloughs and staff reductions.ā€

For the past 30 years, the crime rate in San Leandro, as in much of the country, has been on a steady decline. This decrease in crime reported by the San Leandro Police Department to the FBI can be seen in the graph below.

On September 3, 2013, the San Leandro Police Chief proposed installing surveillance cameras at the city border with Oakland, citing a reduction in crime observed in Pittsburg after the surveillance cameras were installed. However, analysis of crime data from 2005 to 2010 in San Leandro and Pittsburg showed that crime decreased more in San Leandro, even though it had no surveillance cameras.

The proposed surveillance cameras were previously approved at the Facilities and Technology Committee meeting on March 4, 2020, by Councilmembers Corina Lopez and Deborah Cox. The presentation by the San Leandro Police focused on where crime occurred in the past three years as the basis for the proposed surveillance camera locations. No evidence was provided about the effectiveness of surveillance cameras, but some vague anecdotes were offered about crimes that were solved with the help of existing cameras. Mayor Pauline Cutter was absent from the meeting.

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