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Nevada City considers adding six surveillance cameras to city streets

Concerns rise over Nevada City's consideration of new surveillance cameras
Concerns rise over Nevada City's consideration of new surveillance cameras 02:02

NEVADA CITY — Nevada City is considering adding new surveillance cameras on its streets to help with safety and security.

The company providing the cameras is already under scrutiny by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Hat Store owner Todd Wahoske is in favor of the Nevada City police department's plan to add six new security cameras on city streets for proactive policing. Wahoske says the Merchant Association reports an increase in crime in the past six months.

"As a business owner, maybe I've come to appreciate security a little bit more," Wahoske said. "But you know, any time you're a small business owner and somebody walks out with something, it's 'you're pretty bummed out, you feel violated.' It's not a good feeling at all."

The cameras would be installed by a company called Flock. Nevada City's system would not use the company's license plate reading functions recently approved in the cities of Stockton and Tracy.

CBS13 spoke with Tracy police about their new Flock contract in early September.

"Our goal, ideally, is to have every agency in our county to be this type of license plate reader database because criminals bounce between borders," Tracy Police Lieutenant Timothy Bauer said.

The ACLU, citing privacy concerns, recently released a report on Flock reading, in part:

"If the police or government leaders are pushing for Flock or another centralized mass-surveillance ALPR system in your community, we urge you to oppose it, full stop. "

In Nevada City, the cameras without license plate readers would be added on Broad Street, Pioneer Park, and undetermined criminal hot spots. In this small city, cameras could now keep watch.

"I would like to think whoever is doing this is probably doing it for a very good reason and it's not to be used in an abusive way," Wahoske said.

The city council will vote on whether to add these cameras to their streets Wednesday night.

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