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Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee to examine and regulate Port Security Cameras

City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/19/2013

Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell

Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee to examine and regulate Port Security Cameras

Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, will have the Seattle Police Department at the committee table this Wednesday to discuss the port security cameras along Seattle’s shoreline. The security cameras are part of a wireless Mesh Network, a network composed of wireless access points and fiber optic cables around the city to provide first responders like SPD, Fire, and the Coast guard access to a dedicated wireless network during emergency responses.

The equipment included in the funding package from the Port Security Grant Program is vital in advancing our goal to make Seattle the most prepared city in America. City departments, along with regional and federal partners determined prevention and protection was not adequately represented in the region. Such prevention, protection and response capabilities is particularly important for public safety to the Port of Seattle, the sixth busiest in the US, Harbor Island, Washington State Ferry terminals, and cruise ship terminals.

At the committee hearing in May of 2012, the committee determined that SPD had made a strong business case for the use of these public safety cameras as part of the municipal mesh network for use only on waterways, port facilities and facing the Puget Sound. Installation of surveillance cameras installed in recreational/residential zones for general surveillance was and will not be supported by the committee.

Before the cameras can go online, the committee will have legislation in place to restrict and regulate its use to protect the public’s privacy and civil liberties.

WHAT: Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Council Chambers, second floor
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98104

WHO: Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien

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