Though the Republican National Convention has been gone for some time, those surveillance cameras placed around town remain.
So how does Tampa best utilize these expensive cameras without invading people's privacy?
City council is trying to figure that out, and members are taking up the touchy subject again Thursday. There are groups out there that say just shut the cameras off and let them sit on a shelf.
Opponents say they think the cameras give police way too much power, especially if the cameras are always running.
Tampa Police Department officials are expected to outline rules it has written up that will regulate use. Just a few:
- No one could use a camera to secretly record anyone inside a building
- The cameras can be used in Ybor City Thursday through Saturday nights.
- They can be used during special events like Gasparilla
- They can be used for "special patrols," say a parking garage with a lot of crime.
If TPD gets its way, the agency's criminal intelligence bureau would be in charge of monitoring the cameras. That would be under direct supervision of Police Chief Jane Castor.
Anyone using the system will have their own user name and password, and the system will track what each user views.
Under the policy, police would keep the video for 30 days. After that, the files will be recorded over unless they're being used in an investigation.
There are 119 cameras – worth about $2 million.
Council members are expected to listen to the proposal Thursday, but they'll take the privacy concerns seriously before making a decision.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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