City moves forward with surveillance system

Pilot project could be ready for next summer

GONZALES — Surveillance cameras and license plate readers could soon appear in the City of Gonzales as the City Council approved the pilot project to move forward on Oct. 16.

“The pilot project would only take in a couple areas in the city,” said Mark Hartunian, special projects director. “The system would have the ability to read license plates and it would also have the ability to capture footage on traffic.”

According to Hartunian, when the Police Chief and the Chamber of Commerce came together to speak about the pilot project, the business sector approved of exploring the project.

The same type of system has been implemented in the City of Soledad about two years ago. Hartunian said that the project has been quite successful for Soledad and the number of cameras within the city has already been increased.

“These are not audio, they are purely video and only for the purpose of being able to identify traffic flow patterns or specific vehicles,” said Hartunian. “Law enforcement or authorized personnel will have the ability to review the footage.”

The pilot project would cost approximately $100,000 to $130,000 in the form of an RFP (Request for Proposal) and could potentially be installed sometime in the summer.

Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva posed the question of whether the project could be included as part of temporary usage tax rather than using the funding from the general fund. Silva also asked if the project could also move from the two points of entry to all the points of entry.

“We would look for alternative funding sources,” said Hartunian. “We would see if there were grants available, maybe the state law enforcement level would provide some economic assistance.”

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