The (HHPNC) will on Thursday, July 19 vote on a motion to spend $50,000 to purchase four security cameras to monitor both Monte Vista Street and the intersection of York Boulevard and North Figueroa Street.
According to HHPNC President Chris Smith, the council has $25,000 set aside from Councilmember Ed Reyes' office to purchase cameras for the Monte Vista Street area, as well as another $25,000 that was set aside several years ago for a surveillance system at the corner of York Boulevard and North Figueroa Street.
The issue of security cameras has been brought to the forefront in Highland Park at the intersection of York Boulevard and North Figueroa Street and ongoing violence near the 5300 block of Monte Vista Street, .
A non-scientific poll run by Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch showed that Of those who responded, 16 were opposed and six were unsure.
"For the sake of the greater good and public safety I say let there be surveillance cameras, but they must be functional," said Patch reader Rose. "I do believe that they also serve a purpose after the fact if a crime should be committed."
Those against the cameras say they will infringe on the public's right to privacy.
Smith argued that the cameras would be filming public places, where there was no expectation privacy.
"I wish we lived in an area where we didn't need cameras to prevent beatings, stabbings, shootings--but that's not the case," Smith said. "The fact is, a lot of these crimes could be solved more easily if there was proper surveillance. It really is a necessary thing."
Purchasing the cameras has been a priority for the neighborhood council for more than a year, but the actual motion to purchase them has been tabled repeatedly as the HHPNC battled with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment over the right to chose its own vendor.
Smith said that on Thursday that the council was ready to finally vote to enter into a contract with the city's preferred vendor RD Systems.
The cameras would transmit a signal directly to LAPD's headquarters. The final placement would be up to the Department's discretion.