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Cameras along Beach Boulevard aren’t for traffic enforcement – Daily News

Q. Hi Honk: I’ve been driving up and down Beach Boulevard from Buena Park to Huntington Beach for most of the last 25 years. So when something new pops up I’m sure to notice.  And a recent Monday morning something new did pop up. I noticed bright flashing lights about midway up many of the utility poles, only between Lincoln Avenue and Ball Road. It appears the lights were attached to what look like security cameras. Any idea what’s up? Is Big Brother spying on us? Why only between Lincoln and Ball? Should I start taking a new route?

– Jeff Trentini, La Mirada 

A. Security cameras, indeed Jeff – installed on that portion of Beach inside the city limits of Anaheim, which has struggled with human trafficking, prostitution, homelessness and drug problems there.

“But they are not for traffic enforcement, and anyone using Beach to commute should not be concerned,” Mike Lyster, a city spokesman, told Honk.

“We offer extensive services to combat the tragedies of prostitution, homelessness and drug abuse,” he said. “But we must also tackle the daily issues of the area, which have serious impacts on nearby residents and businesses that do serve the community. …

“That is where the cameras come in,” Lyster said. “They are a second set of eyes for public safety. If we receive a call of concern, we can check cameras first for additional information as officers are dispatched.

“Or maybe the visual gives us enough information to dispatch our team of social workers instead of officers, if that is the best response to a social, rather than strictly public safety, issue.”

The city sees redevelopment as a key to improving that stretch of Beach.

“At the heart of our strategy is redevelopment as a lively, walkable corridor with new homes, shops, dining and other activities,” he said. “That redevelopment is starting now at Beach and Lincoln Avenue, and we look forward to seeing it extend southward to Ball Road in coming years.”

Those lights, by the way, are meant to get your attention.

“(They are) meant to draw attention to the camera,” Lyster said. “We want them to be seen … so there is a deterrent effect.”

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