Highway 4 shootings prompt stiff surveillance

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Tuesday¬†approved expenditures through a landfill mitigation fund that are intended to bolster the county’s highway safety.

The allocation of $100,000 from the Keller Canyon Landfill Mitigation Fund is touted as a way to help fund the development of technologies for monitoring state Highway 4 in response to the recent shootings on it and other East Bay highways.

This comes after Supervisor Federal Glover announced late last month that he was seeking his fellow supervisors’ support for using the fund this way, which was created to help public agencies and nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of Pittsburg and Bay Point residents.

Among the 82 recipients of $1.5 million in grants offered through the fund this year are law enforcement agencies that line Highway 4 from Bay Point to Antioch. The agencies will split the grant to pay for enhanced surveillance of the highway, according to Glover’s office.

“The allocation set aside for to monitor Highway 4 – possibly including cameras and license plate readers – will be used by law enforcement to keep our residents safe,” Glover said in a statement.

Since the beginning of 2015, there have been nearly 40 shootings along Interstate Highway 80, Interstate Highway 580, Interstate Highway 880, state Highway 242 and Highway 4 in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Local leaders have taken various steps to address the shootings, which have resulted in deaths, injuries and property damage.

Among those efforts, the Pittsburg City Council in May approved a plan by the city’s police department to earmark $100,000 for several security cameras on four miles of Highway 4.

Pittsburg police Capt. Ron Raman on Monday confirmed the cameras have been installed and said he hoped to have them activated this week.