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San Juan Bautista City Council approves crime-fighting cameras across the city

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. (KION) - Crime-fighting cameras are going up in the city of San Juan Bautista.

City leaders said it's a step in the right direction to help deter crime.

On October 18th, city council members approved the installation of flock license plate recognition cameras.

According to city manager Don Reynolds, the money invested in these cameras is important especially since San Juan Bautista does not have its own police department.

"The cameras are intended to supplement law enforcement, and most cities spend up to 65% of their general fund on law enforcement and our cities only spending about 35%. So this is a small investment," said Reynolds.

Some of those safety cameras will be installed here at the round-about on Lavagnino Drive and at City Hall.

Each camera will cost 3-thousand dollars a year to rent them and some of the cameras will do more than just read license plates.

"The cameras will help us identify what neighborhoods are using illegal fireworks, and then we can respond accordingly," said Reynolds.

The city said these cameras read and scan cars objectively and compare them to a data base for vehicles wanted in connection to a crime.

In a statement from the San Benito County Sheriffs Office:

"San Juan Bautista is near two main highways and does not have their own police department, which makes these cameras even more of a necessity. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to keep their communities safe to the best of their ability and I believe this technology will help us accomplish that."

Still some who have lived in the area for decades aren't convinced there is a need for "big brother" to have a watchful eye from their small community.

"I don't see that there's a lot of lawlessness in SJB at least in terms of running, you know, running stop signs and and, and that sort of thing," said Tim Hogan of San Juan Bautista. "So I guess in general, I just question is this really the priority for the money that we do have?"

Other major cities like Salinas and San Jose have already have them and Hollister which is just a couple miles away recently installed cameras about two months ago.

The cameras will be installed in 4 to 6 weeks.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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