LA QUINTA – To help reduce increasing police costs in a growing community, the city is turning to technology-driven solutions, including a camera, to help keep residents, their property, and the community safe.

The city is launching a pilot program to test the viability of three high definition camera systems to examine the clarity of video and transmission feed.  The upcoming festival season provides an optimal scenario to conduct live testing during an influx of people to the city of La Quinta.  There is no cost to the city.

The purpose of the camera system is to transmit video to City Hall in order to improve police, fire, emergency, and traffic management efforts.

“La Quinta is a safe community and we are exploring technology options to see if they can serve as an effective force multiplier for law enforcement, fire and emergency services,” Chris Escobedo, Community Resources Director, said in a prepared statement.  “Community input has been valuable to getting to this point and we are continuing to engage with the public about the camera systems.  We have drafted policies and procedures to guide this project, which are available on the city’s website.  Additionally, we will be retaining a third-party firm to conduct a survey of La Quinta on the camera system.”

La Quinta Launches Pilot Camera Program

One of the cameras that will be used in the pilot program.

The camera systems will be installed at separate intersections: Washington Street at Eisenhower Drive, Washington Street at Avenue 52, and Jefferson Street at Avenue 49.  The testing period is from March 2, 2019 through May 31, 2019.  Residents are welcome to attend viewing parties during this time period on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. The first viewing party is on March 21.

The city has drafted a set of policies and procedures to regulate the use of video obtained from the camera system.  The cameras are not equipped with facial recognition or license plate readers.

La Quinta Launches Pilot Camera ProgramThe public is welcomed to view live video feed during the testing period at City Hall’s lobby during business hours. A survey will be issued to residents for feedback on the program.  City staff will report the findings of the pilot program and the public survey to City Councilmembers in June.

In October 2016 an Ad Hoc Committee was established to assess the potential use of public safety camera systems. Members of the committee included representatives from the City Council, police, fire, emergency services and city staff.

The Ad Hoc Committee conducted a community survey in February 2017. Some 714 residents participated and 83 percent are supportive, 13 percent are not in support, and 3 percent are undecided or had no opinion.

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Image Sources

  • La Quinta pilot camera program: City of La Quinta
  • La Quinta Pilot Camera Program: City of La Quinta
  • La Quinta Pilot Camera Program: City of La Quinta