Stepping up surveillance in Tequesta - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Stepping up surveillance in Tequesta

TEQUESTA, FL (WFLX)  Cruising into Tequesta from the north side drivers may not even notice it. 20 feet in the air two cameras, continuously snapping shots of every license plate. Driving records immediately pop up at the police department.

The system runs the information through a law enforcement database and reveals if you're in trouble with the law. Lt. Jason Turner says it works wonders.

"We've been able to solve burglaries due to system and recently we were able to tie in a vehicle involved in auto burglaries," says Lt. Turner.

Now a second camera system is planned for this bridge on Tequesta Boulevard. Some residents who pass the cameras daily say they like the added safety.

"I've got small kids and the idea that people are roaming the streets looking for their next victim doesn't help me sleep at night. If this helps catch people that shouldn't be out, I'm all for it," says Jenny Schiralli, who has three small children.

"What could it hurt? It'll keep "unwanteds" out, keep trouble away, that's good," says David Couch, who works in Tequesta.

But the ACLU warns such systems can be misused and abused by the agencies that operate them.
The group is concerned the technology involved is becoming more invasive faster than laws can be written to limit it.

Lt. Turner says the department was worried there would be backlash.

"Once they put past the big brother and looked at it as a protection to the city, we got nothing but praise from the community," says Lt. Turner.

The second camera system is expected to be installed by spring. The cost of those cameras? In the neighborhood of 30-thousand dollars a pop.

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