Berkeley police eye security camera registry

Berkeley will explore the creation of a database for private security cameras to aid police after a Berkeley City Council majority vote Tuesday.

Citizens could report camera locations to the Berkeley Police Department. Police would create a registry that enables officers to call camera owners should a crime take place.

Council members Gordon Wozniak and Susan Wengraf asked for the city manager to study the issue in a proposal. They said it is clear how much crime takes place in Berkeley and where it happens from local crime roundups:

“Every week when Berkeleyside updates their weekly Crime Blotter, it is apparent that most burglaries, car-jacking incidents, and other crimes take place along commercial corridors and major traffic arteries.”

Similar systems have already been set up in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Leandro, Fremont and Vallejo. San Jose is contemplating its own database as well.

In Fremont, authorities say it has been a success. They say there’s been a 20 percent reduction in burglaries since its inception.

Wozniak said Tuesday night that the database is only a concept at this point. It would include locations and contact info only, and would not give police access to streaming video.

The council voted 7-1-0, with Max Anderson in opposition and Kriss Worthington absent, to send the proposal on to the city manager and Police Review Commission for further study.