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Duveneck residents call for surveillance cameras

Original post made on Mar 2, 2012

An armed street robbery on Feb. 15 and a rash of residential burglaries last week in Palo Alto has some residents calling for the city to install surveillance cameras and license-plate readers, and others ramping up efforts to communicate with their neighbors. ==B Related material:== [Web Link Tips for preventing a burglary or robbery]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 2, 2012, 8:14 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

It’s about time that this new technology at least be given a chance to help the police.

Automatic number plate recognition:
Web Link
There are a few different kinds of LPRs (License Plate Readers) these days—

Fixed location:
Web Link

Mobile/Vehicle Mounted:
Web Link

Web Link

This technology is not a panacea, but if it were intelligently deployed, it is very possible that cars that the police should be on the look out for will be more easily spotted. The payoff in crime reduction is that likelihood that some of these cars are being used in residential robberies.

The cost of the vehicle-mounted units is marginal. The cost of the fixed-mounted units is also very low, but there is some software that needs to be acquired.

It can not hurt to give this hardware/software augmentation to the police for a look-see.

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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

It is very dangerous in the long term for citizens to start signing away their rights to the government in exchange for security. Be VERY careful here.

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Posted by bill g
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

Mr. Martin has raised a couple of good points. But the actions already taken by neighbors - motion detectors that activate lights, 3M coating on windows, alarms, etc., are probably the most effective way of deterring break-ins.

As the police have pointed out there are not enough officers to patrol the City's 26 square miles and >200 miles of roads effectively. Their best tools are residents who are alert and who will report suspicious incidents as Lt. Perron said.

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Posted by Wilson
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

Security trumps rights. I would submit that if you don't feel safe in your own neighborhood, then you are deprived of some of your most basic rights and privileges as a free citizen.

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Posted by Mary G
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

Please do not imply that ALL Duveneck area residents are asking for signs, cameras, etc. Yes, the street lighting is not good, but I do not want to live in what would become akin to a gated, guarded community, and neither do many of my neighbors. And yes, I do live quite near the spot where the armed robbery took place.

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Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Perhaps residents out for a stroll should start carrying bear spray. It worked well as a deterrent to a robber for a pharmacist in Spokane.

I would suggest guns or tazers, but this is Palo Alto and we tend to err on the side of keeping the perpetrators healthy.

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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

"Security trumps rights."

That is what the Russian people thought when they gave so much power to Stalin. Think VERY carefully there.

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Posted by ridiculous headline!
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Please stop such ridiculous headlines!
Talk about hyperbole.
I have heard nothing of people here clamoring for surveillance cameras.
This is not a dangerous area.
People walk and bike around hear ALL the time.
Of course, nighttime in winter is not ideal anywhere - there is the chance of a random robbery, not acceptable, such crimes arise periodically in lots of places including Palo Alto's glamorous downtown.
Palo Alto, overall, is perceived as a prosperous, easy-pickings place and the idea that this neighborhood is like Oakland or the housing projects in San Francisco and needs police monitoring surveillance camera footage is ridiculous!

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Posted by camera
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

problem with cameras, is police will say it's you on the camera when it is clearly not you. cameras don't prove anything. it's who's interpreting the camera is where ''rights'' can be violated. one persons ''security'' is anothers loss of freedom.

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Posted by Why?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Palo Alto turning into 1984 will not stop it from becoming Rosewood.

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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I wouldn't want to live in a nightmarish society in which all our movements are recorded by surveillance cameras. There are other neighborhoods targeted by criminals, so this would just divert them to other areas in Palo Alto. There's magic bullet capable of decreasing crime and it's impossible to compeltely eliminate it. Palo Alto will always be a target just like any other affluent community. A combination of sophisticated burglar alarms, guard dogs, pepper spray, neighborhood patrols and not walking your dog alone on a dark winter night should significantly decrease the number of home burglaries and street robberies.

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Posted by John Furrier
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:46 am

Technology discussed in this article is very inexpensive and doable. I think that it's a slippery slope for gov't to do this. However, private groups could and can fund this kind of effort. They can deploy the cameras on select private property.

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