Council approves surveillance cameras
Only Fritz votes against them
The City Council approved a program to install police surveillance cameras in Old Town on Wednesday on a 4-to-1 vote.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she could not support the program because the council failed to adopt an amendment she offered last week that would have required annual reports on it to the council.
"We need to trust our police. That is an essential part of a civilized society," said Fritz, explaining that while she trusts the police, the annual reports would help the council and others understand how the program is working.
Mayor Sam Adams praised the program, saying it will "save lives and reduce injuries" in Old Town, which has long been plagued by drug-related crimes.
The program was approved after Police Chief Mike Reese prepared a new directive to ensure the officers monitoring the cameras do not violate the privacy of law-abiding citizens. It had been requested by Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
The program was opposed by civil libertarians, including the ACLU and Portland Copwatch.