Public weighs in on plan to install more than 74 surveillance cameras across city of Everett

The city of Everett is thinking about installing new surveillance cameras all across the city in order to address violent crime

Everett Police say West Casino Road and Walter E. Hall Park are just two of the areas under consideration for installation of this camera system under the latest proposal.  

"It’s good for the families. It’s better, safer," said one woman in attendance at Thursday's community meeting. 

The idea of installing camera systems along busy Casino Road is something she's generally supportive of. 

"It’s better on Casino Road for protection for the families," she said. 

She joined more than a dozen others at a community meeting at Madres De Casino Road to learn more about the cameras Thursday.  

"The cameras will be placed on main arterials. That gives us the best opportunity to identify criminal activity that may or may not have occurred," said  Captain Robert Goetz, Everett Police Department, Commander of South Precinct. 

Police say the first type proposed for installation is the solar-powered Falcon, from Flock, which has the ability to take pictures of the back of passing cars 24/7.  

If a stolen car drives by, Everett Police would be notified within about 20 seconds through a text or an app. Goetz says those without plates could still be identified.

"No-license plate cars are not immune to our system, our system picks up the colors of the vehicle, it also picks up the make, the model," he said. 

Everett Police say the cameras would not capture faces, or do facial recognition, track speed, or cite parking violations and would not be used for immigration enforcement or monitoring first-amendment expressive activity. 

The captain says they are close to raising funds for 74 Falcon cameras to be placed throughout the city. Six of those are planned for Casino Road and Walter E. Hall Park.  

The second type, called the Condor, would allow officers to see live or recorded footage and provide situational awareness. 

Three are planned for installation in Jackson Park, Lions Park, and Walter E. Hall Park.  

But, not everyone is comfortable with the idea. One person asked on Thursday if police were going to share information on people from out of state seeking medical services like abortion. 

"It would not happen because we are going to ensure in our policy that it would not be allowed, it’s as simple as that," said Goetz. 

Police said the Raven-style cameras, which are used for gunshot detection, would not be installed as part of the first proposed wave of cameras, because the funding is not there yet.

Police say the cameras will be funded for the first two years through grants.   

Goetz says if the city council approves the proposal, they would like to get the program up and running in early summer, but more realistically it could take a few months to implement. 

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