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Guelph Police Plan to Implement Downtown Surveillance Cameras in 2024

Downtown Surveillance Cameras for Serious Incidents Only

The Guelph Police Department plans to install 19 cameras in Downtown Guelph by the end of the month, aiming to enhance community safety. Det. Sgt. Chris Probst, leading the Community Safety Operations Centre (CSOC), clarified during a public consultation that these cameras will not be constantly monitored. Instead, they will be used primarily during serious incidents to provide live updates to responding officers, ensuring a swift and effective response. The initiative is not intended to replace foot patrols but to supplement them, ensuring continued support for downtown citizens.

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Business owners expressed concerns about privacy, but the consensus was that the system includes safeguards against abuse. Cameras will focus on public spaces, with signage informing the public of their presence and how to access footage through Freedom of Information requests. Recorded footage will be kept for 72 hours unless needed for evidentiary purposes.

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The CSOC will also handle call management, directing certain non-urgent calls to appropriate responses to free up frontline officers for more pressing matters. This system aims to improve efficiency and response times for the community. The project, part of the Guelph Police Service Board’s 2024-2027 budget, seeks to engage with the community continuously, valuing feedback and suggestions to evolve and assess the program effectively.

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