24-hour cameras installed along Alki

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SEATTLE —

 Cameras are being installed along Alki and causing controversy among residents.


The cameras are part of a Homeland Security grant from FEMA, focused on port security, and there will be 30 new cameras from Fountleroy to Magnolia looking for problems on water and land.

 

The cameras will be recording 24 hours a day and different agencies will have access to the images. This has some residents in the area feeling uneasy about the devices.

 

Seattle police showed KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Alison Grande what the cameras are used for.

 

“It will not see into private areas as we rotate the camera. The lens may come into view of a private area, but that will be masked and blacked out,” said Chris Fowler of the Seattle Police Department.

 

“I don’t really like it myself, I don’t. I think it’s invading privacy. I know a lot of good can come of it, but it bothers me they’re keeping such track of everybody,” said a resident.

 

“Immediately, does it make me feel safe? I would think with cameras available, people might think twice about committing a crime,” said resident Jeff Kauffer.

 

According to Seattle police, they made a mistake and installed the cameras on the street side of the poles, making residents uncomfortable.

 

Crews came out Thursday to rotate the cameras so they faced the water side.

 

Along with the cameras, a wireless system will be installed, and there will be 160 access points in the city. The system will allow police, fire and other agencies to transfer information.

 

Seattle police hope to have the cameras and wireless system activated by March 31.