KING CITY — Members of the community were invited to an open house last week at the King City Police Department to get an up-close look at the City of King’s new citywide security camera system and celebrate the completion of the nearly half-million dollar project’s first phase.

The Jan. 9 event provided an opportunity to view a demonstration of the new technology as well as hear about the city’s efforts to protect residents and eliminate violence in the community.

Last year the city contracted with SurveillanceGRID Integration Inc. to install security cameras at key locations around town.

“This has been something I have been anxiously anticipating for a long time,” said King City Police Chief Robert Masterson during the dedication ceremony. “The camera system was originally conceived through our Plan to End Youth Violence.”

Implementation of a citywide security camera system was one of the key elements of King City’s Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Violence. Phase I of the project included the communications infrastructure and the installation of 15 wireless cameras, which are visible and linked to the police department. The system can also be expanded with additional cameras in the future.

“If you drive around King City, you’ll see our cameras. We didn’t hide them, and we didn’t want to hide them,” Masterson said. “We’re not looking to spy on anybody, but we are looking to capture crime. We’re hoping that if people know the cameras are out there, it will be a preventative measure in our community.”

The project’s first phase — amounting to about $450,000 in total cost — was funded through multiple grants and the proceeds from the sale of property as well as the sale of utility under-grounding credits from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

After receiving approval from PG&E to install some of the cameras on light poles, the city’s system was implemented last fall by SurveillanceGRID, a professional firm specializing in the installation of security technology systems for municipalities.

During last Tuesday’s ceremony, the City of King specially recognized not only PG&E for their partnership, but also Rava Ranches Inc., King City High School, Salinas Valley Fairgrounds and Smith-Monterey for allowing the city to install communications equipment on their facilities at no cost.

“This project is a great example of the partnership between the city, community and businesses working together to make King City safer and better for everyone, which is what makes King City special,” said King City Mayor Mike LeBarre.

King City is the second of the four South County cities to install a citywide security camera system through SurveillanceGRID, following in the footsteps of Soledad. According to Chief Masterson, Gonzales and Greenfield are currently looking into acquiring similar systems.

“I can’t really emphasize how important this is to King City,” Masterson said. “… We have not had a major incident in our city since our camera system went live. Our neighboring city (Greenfield), which doesn’t have a camera system, has had three. I don’t believe in coincidence.”

LeBarre added, “This is an excellent tool, and when all of our cities in South County have this available, we are going to make a huge dent into the way that gangs have infiltrated our small rural towns and changed drastically the lives of so many innocent people.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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