The description of the San Diego Police Department’s “Operation Secure San Diego” is pretty chilling. The reality is pretty hilarious.
The San Diego Police Department since 2010 has been trying to build a surveillance network with the ominous title “Operation Secure San Diego.”
The idea was for the department to have access to public and private cameras all over the city to deter crime, collect evidence, provide a live feed of crime scenes and identify “questionable individuals or conduct.”
It’s the type of government surveillance program that could either strike you as a logical application of technology to keep San Diegans safe, or an intrusion of basic privacy that terrifies you to participate in our modern world.
Four years later, the program makes better fodder for Stewart and Colbert than Snowden and Orwell.
SDPD says it has access to cameras at 41 addresses around the city as part of Operation Secure San Diego.
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Am I interpreting correctly, the SDPD has 41 cameras set up of which 20 are working. The SDUSD has 1100 operational cameras already set up with dispatchers having access when granted. I
@sddave 41 locations with cameras, some locations could have many more than one camera. Unified has 1100 cameras overall and has agreed to give SDPD conditional access to them, but the district has final call on that access. Unified has two schools with cameras that are part of Operation Secure San Diego.
@sddave Again, there are more than 41 cameras. It is 41 *addresses that have cameras.* Some could have 20, others could have 1. And Unified isn't using its 1,100 cameras in the same way the department is trying to use private cameras within Operation Secure San Diego.
@wakeupoak No, I don't think that's fair. Voice is definitely going for accountability here.
@maassive I said you didn't go into any data showing it's effectiveness.Then I said "media" not "voice" generally I like the article.
@wakeupoak Yeah, I definitely want to know how much San Diego's program costs.
@maassive Good luck when you ask. Then check the math!. :) -cheers
@clairetrageser formal response: exempt for public safety (ongoing fight). Informal: "not much" bc IT work is from existing personnel.
@andy_keatts interesting. And no cost for infrastructure, cameras, software etc?
I presume that -- because there is no reference to the COST of this Keystone Cops 1984 effort, nobody has the slightest idea what it has has been spent on this boondoggle -- or what the future costs will be.
If it cost more than one penny, we overpaid.
Close it down. Now!
@Richard Rider Costs were among the items the SDPD cited as exempt for public safety reasons. In follow-ups, they've generally deflected questions of cost, saying the cameras and software are maintained by third parties, and the department already has the computers to access them. But yes, we'd like a direct answer on that question and are working to get one.
@Andrew Keatts @Richard Rider Thanks for the feedback.
Labor counts, but is often ignored. How many person-hours of time went into this project? Someone suggested it, researched it, contacted companies to voluntarily comply, and then fumbled around trying to get the "free" feeds to work (many didn't, as you point out). What print, website and personnel efforts went in to (wrongly) informing officers that this "service" was real time and on call?
I'm not saying it's a BIG cost, but it's folly for SDPD to claim that it's NO cost. Given the useless results, WHATEVER it cost was too much.
Reminds me of my favorite Will Rogers' wisecrack -- "Thank God we don't get all the government we pay for."
It's the SDPD that needs extra monitoring.
This city can't even run a golf course without absolutely screwing itself.