The City of Hollywood is going high-tech in its fight against crime. The town will use a $1.5 million grant to install a closed-circuit surveillance system that might remind some of Big Brother.
The first phase of the system will place 450 license plate readers and cameras in the downtown, north beach, and Federal Highway areas, which typically have the highest concentration of 911 calls. The system is a first for Broward County, but mirrors a system being implemented in Miami.
“When people enter the city, as they become more aware of these initiatives and the technology we’re deploying; they’ll find some places to go instead of entering into the city of Hollywood for that purpose (crime),” said Lt. Derik Alexander of Hollywood Police.
The system was used in Boston to help identify the marathon bombers. Similar systems have also been deployed around major events like the Super Bowl. Still, some people are concerned that with constant surveillance, their privacy may be violated.
“A lot of people are worried about the privacy issue,” said Detective Dan Justus. “Unless you’re involved in crime, you should not be worried about it. These are public places. The streets of our city, the public areas where people are committing crimes, not allowing our citizens to safely move about.”
The video will be kept for 30 days unless there’s a hit on something captured by the cameras. If everything goes well, the system could be expanded throughout the city, at a total coast of $5 million