will more surveillance cameras keep oakland safe?

By now, you've heard about all the recent violence in Oakland, where Tian Sheng Yu and Jinghong Kang were killed in separate incidents. Neither murder took place in Chinatown, but both shook the community and received a great deal of attention in Chinese Americans news media.

In an effort to restore public confidence in Chinatown businesses, merchants and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce are exploring the cost and the viability of a business improvement district to hire private, unarmed guards. At the very least, they're trying to get all the district's businesses to hook up surveillance cameras: Oakland's Chinatown emphasizing safety.
Jenny Ong, executive director of the Chinatown chamber, said her office is working toward a business improvement district plan and creating a sustainable funding source.

The estimated cost of private patrol cars touring the area twice a day is more than $3,000 a month, Chan said. The cost of establishing a business improvement district and hiring unarmed street escorts could cost as much as $10,000 a month.

"If we had a choice we would choose a police officer, but we can't afford them, so we're trying to find the most cost-effective ways to battle the problem we're fighting - and that's crime.

"And the easiest way is by continuing our camera surveillance program - it's cost-effective and most merchants are willing to participate.
At this point, there doesn't appear to be many other cost-effective options. Oakland police recently layed off 80 officers, and hiring private security patrols would be far too expensive. So electronic monitoring it is. More here: In Oakland, Private Force May Be Hired for Security.

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