The San Ramon City Council is set to discuss equipping its city's streets with automated license plate readers (ALPR) and situational awareness cameras (Sitcams) during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
Scheduled to be reviewed remotely in order to adhere with the county's shelter-in-place order, the proposed installation of cameras will cost approximately $1,277,027 and be used to assist the San Ramon Police Department monitor the area and enforce the law, according to city officials.
"This camera technology will provide the San Ramon Police Department with video evidence that will be used to solve persons- and property-related crimes that occur within the city," SRPD Capt. Cary Goldberg said in a staff report. "ALPRs enhance crime prevention and criminal investigations by discouraging criminals, alerting law enforcement to stolen or wanted vehicles, and providing investigators with data on vehicles entering the city of San Ramon."
ALPRs capture images of vehicles' license plates and enable law enforcement agencies to connect with one another and compare data acquired by one or more databases. If the council approves the equipment, the SRPD would be able identify vehicles, license plates, and or makes and models of vehicles of suspects who have traveled through the city. This information can then be shared with neighboring law enforcement agencies throughout the region.
While these cameras will be important in tracking the locations of suspects, Goldberg did note that they are not designed for tracking vehicle occupants and are not intended to work with facial recognition software.
The companion Sitcams capture real-time footage at intersections and other central points of interest, which can be reviewed and provide a lead in crimes when vehicles do not have license plates, or when certain descriptors of a vehicle related to a crime have been identified.
Goldberg added that the $1,277,027 price tag will go toward purchasing and installing all equipment, covering three years of operating costs and costs associated with building a designated lab to monitor live footage and mine data-related to crimes that occur within San Ramon.
In order to enforce social distancing and follow Contra Costa County's shelter-in-place order, Tuesday's meeting will be conducted via teleconference and San Ramon's City Hall will be closed to the public.
Residents can still view a livestream video of the meeting online on the city's Zoom account, or listen to a live audio recording on their phones by calling 669-900-6833, 888-788-0099 (toll free) or 877-853-5247 (toll free). Once connected, residents calling in or accessing Zoom online will need to use Webinar ID: 988 8608 7915, in order to access meeting audio.
The meeting can also be viewed on the city's YouTube account at www.youtube.com/channel/UCwJW_fMcOfVua2c93DG7qYA.
Residents can provide public written comments prior to the meeting by emailing [email protected] no later than 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Emails should include “Public Comment 3/24/2020” in the subject line and comments must include the submitters name and the item they wish to speak on.
San Ramon's regular City Council meeting is scheduled to be held remotely at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
In other business
* The council is also set to appoint San Ramon resident Jackie Teixeira on the Transportation Demand Management Advisory Committee as an alternative member.
* Next up, city officials plan to recognize April 19-25 as National Library Week, and will hear a special presentation on the week from San Ramon's senior community library manager Dena Hollowood.
* Staying on the topic of libraries, the council is then set to hear the Library Advisory Committee's annual report on activities conducted over the past year, as well as the group's goals for the future.