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What is the Proposed Community Watch Campaign?
The Moraga Police Department (MPD) plans to install video cameras at each of five strategic high-traffic locations in Moraga, including Canyon Road, Moraga Way, Moraga Road, Rheem Blvd. and St. Mary’s Road.
Each location will include a license plate recognition camera as well as a high definition color overview camera. Both will be directed at vehicles that are entering or leaving our Moraga community and are designed to recognize and record license plate numbers. The high definition cameras will also provide an overall view of the roadway so that the color, make and model of the vehicle can be identified.
The first of these camera pairs, funded by the Town of Moraga, is already in the process of being installed at one of these locations.
Video cameras will be connected via a secured wireless network that will transmit recorded images to a secure server located within the Moraga Police Department. License plate information will be stored for a limited period of time pursuant to the Town’s records retention policy. Recordings from the overview cameras will be stored for 30 days before being deleted and/or overwritten.
The information gathered by the cameras will not be monitored on an on-going basis. Instead, it will be accessed only by MPD investigators in connection with solving a specific crime. The information will not be used for any other purpose, nor sent outside of the MPD secured environment.
Why Do We Need Community Watch Video Cameras in Moraga?
The experience of Orinda and Lafayette-both of which use community video camera systems-demonstrates that strategically placed video monitoring cameras are highly effective in helping police solve crimes and deter future crimes. In particular, the information collected by the cameras can be used by investigators to more quickly and efficiently identify and apprehend perpetrators. In addition, the presence of cameras within a town seems to discourage potential criminals from selecting that town as a target for property crimes such as home invasions and car break-ins.
Our neighbors in Orinda and Lafayette now reap the important benefits of their respective police departments having video cameras. Lafayette for example, reported a 60% decline in home and auto related burglaries during the first year after installing its system in 2014. Orinda’s experience has also been positive.
Will My Privacy Rights Be Protected?
Yes. Video cameras will be connected via a secured wireless network that will transmit recorded images to a secure server located within the Moraga Police Department (MPD).
License plate information will be stored for a limited period of time pursuant to the Town’s records retention policy. Recordings from the overview cameras will be stored for 30 days before being deleted and/or overwritten.
Photos or images obtained from the community cameras will be used exclusively in connection with and during an investigation by the Moraga Police Department into an actual crime. The information is potential evidence in criminal investigations, and access to the information will be restricted to the officers who are investigating those specific crimes. This is similar to the protocol currently being used for the recordings from body cameras worn by members of MPD. These body cameras have operated successfully and there have been no unauthorized disclosure of information collected by them.
How Much Will The Community Watch System Cost?
The purchase and installation of the camera system at the four remaining access point locations in Moraga, including site preparation, mounting, electrical connections, wireless network connections to the Moraga Police Department (MPD) office--as well as securing sufficient data storage capacity--is estimated by the MPD to cost approximately $60,000. This also includes the purchase of portable cameras that can be deployed to specific crime problems, steel security enclosures, memory cards, rechargeable batteries and chargers for the portable cameras.
The MPD is presently considering a number of potential service providers and will undergo a rigorous selection process prior to making a final decision.
Why Can't The Town Of Moraga Pay For These Cameras?
Our Town currently is confronted with a number of fiscal challenges, including repair of the sinkhole. While the Town is funding the installation of one pair of system cameras, it now welcomes the community’s help to purchase additional cameras in a timely manner to serve the residents of Moraga.
Will My Contribution Be Tax Deductible?
The Moraga Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donors will receive a tax receipt. Consult with your tax professional regarding your particular contribution.
How Do I Contribute?
You can donate online with a major credit card or by check mailed to the
Moraga Community Foundation
1480 Moraga Road, Suite C #191
Moraga, CA 94556.
Please note Community Watch on the check’s memo line.
How Much Should I Contribute?
We welcome all contributions, big and small. This is an investment in the safety and security of our Town. We believe that this campaign will enjoy broad-based community support. The greater the number of participating households, the greater MPD’s ability to implement a system that meets the needs of this community, both today and into the foreseeable future.