Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Must Read: Piedmont Cops Move to Install Surveillance Cameras; Oakland May Be Shut Out of East Bay Emergency Radio System

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Stories that East Bay progressives and environmentalists shouldn’t miss:

1. The City of Piedmont is moving toward installing surveillance cameras so that Piedmont police can track every car that enters the city, the Chron$ reports. The cameras would snap photos of license plates in an attempt to reduce crime in Piedmont, an upscale enclave surrounded by Oakland. Police say the city is being impacted by crime from Oakland, but civil libertarians worry that the surveillance cameras represent an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

2. Oakland police may be shut out of a countywide emergency radio system because county officials say Oakland should pay its fair share of the costs — like the other cities involved, the Trib reports. While the rest of the East Bay worked together to build the region-wide radio system, Oakland instead chose to invest in its own radio upgrades, which are now riddled with problems. Oakland is considering joining the countywide system, but may not be able to afford to — a problem that could leave Oakland residents in trouble during a major emergency.

3. Oakland police shot and wounded a burglary suspect who was brandishing a fake gun, the Chron$ reports. It was the second time in less than a week in which an OPD officer shot and wounded someone.

4. An ex-freelance photographer for the Oakland Tribune — Lionel “Ray” Fluker — was killed by a stray bullet late last week in East Oakland, the Trib reports. Fluker was driving home from the gym Friday night when he was hit by the errant bullet, which was meant for another man.

5. A federal judge refused Governor Jerry Brown’s request to return California’s prison mental health system to state control, the LA Times$ reports. The judge said the state had not made enough progress to a reform a system that has been deplorable over the years.

6. And state officials said poor regulatory oversight was partially responsible for the large Chevron refinery fire last August in Richmond, SFGate reports. Because of budget cuts, the state has just seven inspectors to keep track of fifteen refineries and 1,600 hazardous chemical plants in California.

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