SEATTLE -- The plan for a series of more than 30 surveillance cameras along Seattle's waterfront continued to be a controversial topic Tuesday night. At a community meeting, police said it is about public safety, but some residents feel it is an invasion of privacy.
More than two dozen people attended the meeting at the Belltown Community Center. Most of the residents that spoke up criticized the surveillance cameras that are apart of a Port Security Grant.
It was a similar situation at the last meeting that took place in West Seattle. A resident that attended called the cameras a giant, big brother, spy operation.
Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh insisted that is not the case at the West Seattle meeting.
Seattle is a very close city, but we also have to remember we're an international city with a port, he said. So we have to protect the port to protect our city, and that's one of the reasons, the biggest reason, that we put in for this project.
At a Belltown hair salon, employees welcomed the surveillance cameras.
I think it is a great idea. That is even more security for Belltown, said employee Karis Scott. If it is not invading someone's apartment home then I don t see any problem with it.
Hair Stylist Colleen Owsley said Belltown has seen a lot of crime over the past year. She added that there have even been fights in front of the salon in the middle of the day.
I work down here. I have to park my car and walk to it every evening. If it takes away from privacy so be it, I'd rather be safe, said Owsley.
Additional meetings will be held over the next few weeks. Residents can also email concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. McDonagh said the police department plans to take the feedback they get from those meetings, and present it to the mayor and city council for a final decision.
Monday the Seattle City Council passed legislation requiring City departments to get Council approval before acquiring certain suveillance equipment. Read about it here.