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Oakland Mayor Schaaf Urges Highway Cameras Following Recent Shootings

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- There have been three high-profile shootings along Bay Area freeways in the last three months, prompting calls for cameras along Interstate 880 and Interstate 580 in Oakland, where there currently are no cameras or license plate readers.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office has come out in favor of surveillance cameras. The challenge for Oakland is that the state has jurisdiction over freeways.

"But we have several unsolved shootings on this very same highway," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who told KPIX 5 she has sent a detailed letter to Governor Gavin Newsom asking for cameras at on- and off-ramps and license plate readers on state highways in this year's budget.

When asked if it's a priority, Schaaf said, "It better be. What is more important than human life? Public safety is a crisis in California not just in Oakland. We have seen gun violence go up across the country. This is one tool we could have in place to prevent as well as solve violent crime."

Schaaf said she believes camera footage could give investigators valuable leads.

"This has to be part of the budget process because we are asking for the purchase of new equipment," said Schaaf. "I do believe it needs privacy protection and this is potentially an opportunity to increase privacy protections for all the technology that the state uses."

Schaaf says the budget will come out in May and will take effect in July.

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