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CHP Contracts for Anti-Crime Camera Network in Bay Area

The California Highway Patrol has partnered with Flock Safety to install about 480 high-tech cameras in Oakland and on state freeways in the East Bay to combat crime and roadway violence.

California is installing a network of 480 high-tech cameras in Oakland and the East Bay to aid law enforcement in identifying vehicles linked to crimes using real-time information and alerts.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has contracted with Flock Safety to install a network of about 480 high-tech cameras in Oakland and on state freeways in the East Bay to combat crime and roadway violence.

The cameras use a technology that allows law enforcement agencies to identify vehicle attributes beyond license plate numbers, enabling the CHP, the Oakland Police Department and other agencies to search for vehicles linked to crimes and to receive real-time alerts about their movement.

“This investment marks another step forward in our commitment to bolstering public safety and tackling organized crime and roadway violence in Oakland and across California,” Newsom said in a statement. “With the installation of this … high-tech camera network, we’re equipping law enforcement with the tools they need to effectively combat criminal activity and hold perpetrators accountable — building safer, stronger communities for all Californians.”

Said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao: “Improving public safety and addressing quality-of-life issues in Oakland is my top priority. This new camera network will help us stop crime and hold more suspects accountable. On behalf of all Oaklanders, I want to thank the governor and the California Highway Patrol for their ongoing commitment and investments in the city.”

“These sophisticated cameras will make an important difference and make the entire East Bay region safer,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.

The contract is for about 480 cameras to be installed — 290 on surface streets in Oakland and 190 along state highways in the East Bay. The network allows for improved vehicle recognition, enabling law enforcement to search for crime-linked vehicles by vehicle type, make, color, license plate state, missing/covered plates, and other unique features such as bumper stickers, decals and roof racks. The system also enables real-time crime alerts, alerting authorities when a suspected crime-linked vehicle is spotted by the network.

The cameras will improve public safety while balancing privacy protections, the announcement says. “The network will employ a limited 28-day retention period, camera footage will not be disclosed to third parties beyond California law enforcement, and the network will be compliant with recent legal bulletins issued by the California Department of Justice to ensure the storage, collection, sharing, and use of the data is consistent with California law.”

Last month, Newsom announced a new partnership among the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Justice, the California National Guard, the CHP and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office that will “result in the deployment of attorneys and resources to boost law enforcement capacity to investigate, analyze and prosecute suspects in violent, property and serious drug-related crimes,” the announcement says.