Seattle Police Cameras - Ready or not here they come!

We know all we need about the Port Security Grant now. At tonight's public meeting, the third and final public meeting on the Port Security Grant, I asked why the system is run by the City of Seattle Police and not the Port of Seattle Police. The answer from Assistant Chief McDonagh: to get to the port, you need to walk down the sidewalk in Seattle. This response is exactly what everyone seems to be afraid of.

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Public Hearings - Open Agenda Town Hall

Tonight at 6 PM, the Seattle City Council will be holding a Town Hall meeting at University Heights Center. If my information is correct, this is the first town hall meeting held since 2009. A few months ago, I made a post explaining how attending a public meeting won't change the outcome of a decision. Keep that in mind if you attend tonight!

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Seattle Police Cameras - The city does have the missing records!

Finally, an update! First off, I do have confirmation that the police installed the Canon VB-M40PTZ camera. Second, I think the reason for the coverup is becoming more clear. There appears to be quite a few inefficiencies in this project. The one that rises to the top is the $9795.19 RADIUS server.

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The TSA: Knives Can't Take Down an Airplane

As you may have heard, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is changing their policy to allow pocket knives and sporting equipment onto airplanes. I think this is finally a move towards common sense, and eliminating unnecessary security theater, but Flight Attendants don't agree.

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Seattle Police Cameras - Stalling until the public forgets

Just over a week ago, I sent in a formal appeal regarding the Seattle Police Department's response to my early February request for the records and maps relating to the wireless mesh network. Like clockwork, I received a reply 5 business days later stating that the department was reviewing my request, and that I would receive a response on May 1st, 2013. I really hope this was an April fools joke.

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Seattle Police Cameras - The Public Records Blame Game

When you have a city as large as Seattle, distributed records are inevitable. But that doesn't mean that public records requests need to turn into a game of finger pointing. The police department first tells me that the Purchasing department has the records I am looking for. The Purchasing department tells me the Police and IT department has the records. Seattle City Light and Department of Transportation are both several days late in responding. When does it end?

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Seattle Police Cameras - Belltown Public Meeting

I just got home from the police department's meeting at Belltown Community Center, and I have to say, it was an interesting night. The meeting attendance was extremely light, I don't believe anyone was actually there to learn about the issue. The room was about half city employees, one third against the police, and the rest citizens concerned about the cameras. I was expecting the meeting to be controlled by the police department, but instead it was taken over by the anti-police crowd. Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh did a splendid job allowing the group to make fools of themselves.

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Seattle Police Cameras - Upcoming Public Meeting and More Records Requests

Downtown Seattle SPD Mesh Network Map

The Seattle Police Department will be hosting a meeting at the Belltown Community Center, Tuesday, March 19th at 7 PM. I've prepared a flyer with material from the public records returned so far. I'll be bringing a stack with me to distribute. This flyer presents all the relevant information in a concise form, and debunks many of the department talking points.

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Seattle Police Cameras - The records are in but are they complete?

Right on schedule, my public records request for info on the Wireless Mesh Network is back. What I've seen so far is alarming. I found 36 cameras ordered, with network capacity and infrastructure for over 180. Even better, the camera has a face detection function which, per the manual: "detects the position of human face and the information is sent by XML or video stream."

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Public Hearings - You Aren't Doing It Right!

Every time a controversial issue comes up, one or more of the politicians involved decides to hold a public hearing. In fact, legislative bodies almost exclusively hold public meetings. Has anyone ever thought about why that is? If you said “so the public can provide input” you are likely wrong. Elections aren't won or lost based on public meetings, and that is the only time you can truly provide input. If a politician is holding a public meeting, he or she has already been elected. And if a bureaucrat is holding a public meeting, be even more worried, because bureaucrats aren't elected.

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