The City of Burnaby has installed new security cameras throughout Central Park.
Mayor Derek Corrigan said he’s delivering on public safety promises made after the death of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen, who was killed there last year.
“We’re not telling anybody how many cameras there are or where they are located.”
It’s part of a $1-million plan passed by city council to beef up security after Shen’s death.
“And the addition of more cameras over the course of time, there will be increased lighting, there will be call boxes made available for citizens,” Corrigan said.
Call boxes are expected to be in place by the end of the year, and for now, security cameras are limited to Central Park.
“We are going to go through this pilot project in Central Park but my intention is to continue to do this in the heavily used parks, obviously that kind of investment in parks where you don’t have regular use would not be a wise investment in public money.”
City staff have been in contact with the province’s privacy commissioner discussing the use of cameras and privacy concerns, and Corrigan said there’s always a balance between privacy and looking out for people’s safety.
“It’s not going to be utilized to monitor people, it’s not going to be utilized in a way where we have staff sitting watching those cameras all day in order to follow up on whether anyone has committed a bylaw offence or done something in the park that we think is inappropriate. It’s a tool after an incident has happened to ensure the investigation is successful.”
Burnaby is also getting 14 new RCMP officers and is resurrecting its bike patrol program.
The announcement comes weeks before civic elections.
“Clearly, I’m making announcements that show people why they should come back and vote from me.”
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