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Citywide Cameras Approved In Pilot Program
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A Security and Traffic Camera Pilot Program was approved by the City Council at a recent council meeting. The council agreed to contract with QPCS for their services and to lease the cameras that will be placed in public places throughout the city of Riverbank. The cost for the pilot program will be funded by the Public Benefit Fund that was established through Flavors and Riverbank Cannabis Collective.

The idea to explore a security and a traffic camera system was mentioned at a couple of strategic planning sessions for the council, according to City Manager Sean Scully. He noted that financially this would have been difficult to obtain by the city itself, however, through the Public Benefit Fund they would be able to pay for the program.

“I talked with the Chief (Riverbank Police Services Chief Erin Kiely) quite a bit about this over the last year and a half and it just so happens that a company that is local out of Ceres, QPCS, they have been in the city IT business in the past and now have sort of transitioned generally into cameras for a variety of jurisdiction both public, semi public and private here in California,” explained Scully during the meeting. “Not only do they sell the full system to cities through CMASK contracts but they also are CMASK vendors as it relates to lease options which is what we discussed when we met a couple months ago.”

They have a one year agreement to lease cameras and services which eliminates the upfront investment and allows the city to see if this system benefits the city or if it is not as effective as anticipated.

The city council was given four options for the pilot program which they unanimously selected Option 4 which is a 22 camera system including nine surveillance cameras and 13 LPR (license plate readers) with a monthly cost of $6,235.71 and an approximate annual cost of $74,828.52 and a one-time installation fee $8,137.81.

According to Scully, the Public Benefit Fund was created by the council for a variety of expenditures that were deemed appropriate for that fund including a Deputy that will possibly start at the beginning of the fiscal year and a part time code enforcement officer that was offset by other funds so there has been minimal use of it.

There were concerns during public comment about invasion of privacy and the representatives from QPCS were on hand to address any concerns. They assured the council and the public that the cameras will be set for a specific public area and anything in the vicinity will be masked or blurred. The company will monitor the cameras, as will city staff and RPS. Anyone that accesses the system will be logged for transparency.

Chief Kiely addressed the council in approval of the camera system. City staff and the chief are set to decide where the cameras would best be used throughout the city. There may be cameras set up at the Skate Park and Community Center for crime and for traffic reasons there may be cameras set up at major intersections like Patterson and Oakdale roads.

The cameras will have 1080p, high definition to detect, track, and analyze objects.