City Surveillance Technology Group Public Comment
Published on March 10, 2023
The City of Syracuse is seeking community input on proposed surveillance technology, a requirement of Mayor Walsh’s Executive Order No. 2. The Syracuse Police Department is considering the use of automated license plate readers (ALPR)—street cameras that will capture still images of license plates to aid with investigations and the apprehension of suspects after criminal activity has occurred.
The street cameras to be installed will not identify drivers, but will collect data continuously, capturing images and data every second. The City is reviewing technology from seven companies that specialize in hardware and software safety solutions. Once a company is approved, the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) will be responsible for the compliance of data storage and destruction as set by New York State Law. There are 26 proposed locations, identified by SPD Criminal Investigations Division Detectives and Criminal Observation and Protection System (COPS) Camera monitors.
The City’s Surveillance Technology Advisory Group, appointed by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, will accept public comment on the proposed technology for 14 days, beginning March 10 through March 24. To submit a comment, residents can visit https://goto.syr.gov/surveillancetech-alpr.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh signed the Surveillance Technology Executive Order in 2020, ensuring residents have input on proposed uses of surveillance technologies by the City of Syracuse. The Surveillance Technology Executive Order puts in place policies and procedures for oversight on how the city pays for such technology and ensures that surveillance tools are used in a safe and well-governed way.
The group is managed by the Office of Accountability, Performance and Innovation and is made up of City of Syracuse staff, community advocates, and technology and ethics experts. Questions regarding the review of surveillance technology can be directed to https://goto.syr.gov/surveillancetech.