California City Scrambles to Deploy Languishing Video Cameras

They might never be used if the city allows a grant to expire.
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Video surveillance cameras purchased by the city of Vallejo, Calif. have been locked in storage since June 2010, and they might never be used if the city allows a grant to expire that was suppose to pay for the cameras’ deployment, say published reports.

The security cameras were purchased using funds from a federal grant that was awarded to the “Fighting Back Partnership.” The Vallejo grant was expected to last five years, but the federal funding is expected to be terminated at the beginning of the grant’s fourth year–October 2011—which is also the start of the federal fiscal year, according to John Allen, who coordinates the grant’s efforts.

Once that funding is discontinued, there will be no money to pay for anyone to monitor the camera’s footage, or for the city to relocate the cameras to high crime areas, Allen said. However, the cameras could be deployed without a city agreement, if a way to hang them without using city equipment is found and they are not attached to city-owned poles, according to Allen. Vallejo officials are attempting to devise such a plan within 30 days.