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Miami Beach Adding Police Cameras To Every Corner On South Beach

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach could upset some residents by trying to reduce crime.

The city is putting together a plan for police cameras on every corner of South Beach, from Washington Avenue east to the ocean.

The proposal also includes license plate readers.

There are currently 36 stationary cameras throughout the city, located on Ocean Drive, Lummus Park and beach walk.

The Chief of Miami Beach Police says cameras are only used for crime-related purposes.

"We don't share that information with insurance companies or vendors, we don't sell it," said Miami Beach Police chief Dan Oates. "The license plate reader information that we capture, we retain for only two years and then we destroy it. The only people we share it with is fellow law enforcement."

City Manager Jimmy Morales says it could cost up to eight million dollars over the next five years.

That includes extra money for new police license-plate readers and the infrastructure updates necessary to maintain the cameras and transmit footage to police across town.

Oates says cameras are only used for crime-related purposes, including preventing terrorism.

"As long as we are responsible with the information, and we are," he said. "The only purpose we use it for is to conduct investigations and fight crime."

The goal is to keep residents and tourists as safe as possible, at all times.

"You want to be protected," said Shamara, a tourist vising Miami Beach. "You want to be able to have the police right there, ambulance. Anything can happen. You never know."

The world's major tourist hot spots have police cameras.

Law enforcement officials in both New York City and London oversee surveillance networks.

"We had bombing in Time Square," said tourist Brian Bassett. "People run in over in area just like in New York City. It's part of life and you go on with it."

"Now in the age of everyone filming, Instagraming and Snapchatting everything, I feel like this is public safety and a good call," added tourist Leslie Hill.

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