Home NEWS Government Camera Happy: Orinda Council Approves More Police Cameras, License Plate Readers

Camera Happy: Orinda Council Approves More Police Cameras, License Plate Readers

The Orinda City Council approved installation of additional security cameras Tuesday. Photo: File

After some proven local success with cameras and police automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), Orinda’s City Council Tuesday approved the purchase of eight additional cameras as well as the license plate scanners for use in areas hard-hit by property crime.

Two of the ALPRs will be installed at the entrance to Wilder to capture the passage of vehicles both going in to and out of the parking lot at the park as well as those traveling through on Wilder Road to the residential area.

In addition, another ALPR system will be mounted on an OPD cruiser for use on street patrol.

Both the cameras and ALPR systems have been utilized with effect in neighboring Lafayette and Orinda Police Chief Mark Nagel had lobbied city officials to bring the equipment to his jurisdiction.


  1. I have to admit I sit up straighter and try to look my best when driving on certain roads these days. You want to look your best for the camera.

  2. I’m told they have actually been in use for a while but were kept quiet because the police didn’t want the bad guys to know they were out there. They seem like a useful tool but it is a little creepy to think you are being photographed going down the road.

  3. They creep me out but if they catch these creepers ripping off houses around here lately I’m willing to overlook the creepiness factor. I have heard from people who have lost items to car burglars at the sports fields so that sounds logical.

  4. Are you aware that ALPR data is shared with multiple other agencies, including U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security? (Verified!) Are you aware that there is ample evidence (that I have not verified) that even Reconyx cameras (as with otherl photo-enforcement cameras) use ALPR? Are you aware that the Orinda attorney stated the law isn’t clear whether or not Reconyx camera pictures would be exempt from data mining and that it is “entirely possible” that the city could be required to disclose the photos to anyone asking to see them? She said state law “probably needs some updating to keep up with the technology that we have today.” So yes; there is a definite downside.

  5. I only hope that in our rush to protect ourselves from people who are obviously coming here to rip us off we’re not giving away our very important freedoms in the process. LPeople say they trust the police and I for one generally do BUT there have been some very high profile cases of abuse of surveillance cameras by police and for personal gain. One case involved a police official attempting to blackmail people he had pictures of attending a local gay dance club. Put me down as generally for them but I would like to see some independent oversight regulating their use as a camera reveals a lot and the human psyche isn’t always good – even if you wear a badge.

  6. Good job Orinda City Council. Cameras (especially ALPRs) have been proven successful, and I hope Moraga is next (elderly parents). As far as sharing with “others,” it’s a valid concern, but the pros of having cameras (law enforcement tool) far outweigh the cons. If you live in Orinda, and your home was broken into, wouldn’t you want the license plate of the criminals on camera? Think about it…

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