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City of Eureka addresses surveillance camera controversy

Surveillance camera installation near Eureka's Old Town Gazebo.
Surveillance camera installation near Eureka's Old Town Gazebo.
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The City of eureka is addressing concerns over newly erected surveillance cameras around the area, one of which is located directly in front of the Old Town Gazebo.

According to City Manager Miles Slattery, these permanent installations have been in the works for months.

"We had a pilot study go on with this company to test the effectiveness of these cameras. So we had about a six-month pilot project where we had mobile units deployed into certain areas where we had lots of calls for service and vandalism and appropriate uses those types of things and we record them to the different locations throughout the city," Slattery said. "We did have some miscommunication with staff on the location of the particular one that's bringing this to everybody's attention. So that one at the gazebo will be relocated and will be taken down by the end of the week."

The organization "Humboldt Grassroots" took to its Facebook page wondering why the cameras didn't get discussed by the City Council and said, "Get this surveillance state atrocity off the Gazebo."

"I think that the whole process was not thought out as well as it should have been," Mayor Susan Seaman said. "I think it should have gone to council."

Slattery maintains the project wasn't required to go through the City Council, but it will be addressing the cameras in a future meeting.

"We are going we have a draft policy on these now that we have permanent locations and that draft policy will be going to council for consideration to describe how these will be used," Slattery said. "I can tell you that this is not going to be monitored 24/7 -- we don't have the staffing levels to do that."

According to Slattery, the cameras will continue to be used in Eureka, especially since there have been many concerns of vandalism or other crimes in the area, especially around the gazebo.

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Both Mayor Seaman and Slattery invite residents to voice any concerns they may have about the camera at an upcoming City Council meeting in June where surveillance cameras will be on the agenda.

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