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Paso Robles police install security cameras in several public areas

A public safety camera pod installed by Paso Robles police. The department installed four camera pods around the city to deter crime in certain areas.
A public safety camera pod installed by Paso Robles police. The department installed four camera pods around the city to deter crime in certain areas.

The Paso Robles Police Department is in the process of installing security cameras that will allow police to keep an eye on public areas from afar.

The seven sets of security camera pods — each contains up to four cameras, some of which are stationary and some of which can pan, tilt or zoom — are part of a pilot program the Police Department announced in October. The department bought the cameras with a $62,500 grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections.

The camera pods are located in the 100 block of Niblick Road as well as Centennial Park, Uptown Park and City Park, according to a Police Department news release.

Some areas will have multiple camera pods, while others may have only one. The camera pods are mounted on poles or streetlights and feature flashing blue strobe lights to increase their visibility.

Lt. Tim Murphy said the department picked locations where “quality of life and public nuisance issues” have been taking place. The cameras can be moved and may be placed in different areas depending on city goings-on. The cameras could also be used to provide enhanced security at big community events, such as the Mid-State Fair or the Paso Robles Wine Festival, Murphy said.

Paso Robles now joins San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach as the latest city in San Luis Obispo County to make use of public safety cameras. Murphy said other agencies’ success with such devices contributed to the department’s interest in them.

The department might consider expanding the program with more camera pods if it proves to be effective, he said.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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