OB Surveillance Camera Program Moves Ahead Despite Concerns

Ten cameras will monitor Ocean beach activities on the boardwalk and beaches

Police surveillance of Ocean Beach will soon be implemented despite efforts by some residents to block the program.

The plan’s architect, District 2 Councilmember Lori Zapf, was confronted for the first time Wednesday by those that oppose installation of the police cameras.

The cameras will record activity on the boardwalk and beaches 24 hours a day from the OB Pier to Dog Beach. Those who oppose them say Zapf has turned a deaf ear to their concerns.

Police surveillance cameras were not on the agenda at Wednesday night's OB Town Council meeting but because Zapf was attending, residents took the opportunity to share their concerns.

“Ocean Beach is the best beach community and we're doing just fine without cameras,” opposition organizer Rick Callejon said.

Callejon and other opponents want the plan put to a vote. They accused Zapf of ignoring opposition concerns and not attending an open form.

“Actually I don't remember that meeting,” Zapf said.

“Let us know why this was fast tracked through without the planning board,’ one resident asked.

Zapf assured residents that the surveillance project was no secret.

“Nothing was snuck in anywhere. It was very open. I was responding to the request to the community,” Zapf said.

The councilmember believes OB needs to be safer and credits the San Diego Police for the 24-hour monitoring idea.

“These cameras are a huge deterrent. There will be surveillance signs,” Zapf said.

Ocean Beach enjoys an unbridled and free-spirited reputation.

Zapf said she was not persuaded by what was said at Wednesday night's town council.

She refers to the opposition as the few and expects the cameras will go up in just three weeks.

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