New Moline mayor sees adding surveillance cameras downtown as ‘another tool in the toolbox’

4 The Record

Equipment not to be used for traffic enforcement

Moline’s new mayor has only been on the job for a month.

It’s early in her tenure, yet some significant developments are taking shape.

One has to do with downtown Moline.

The city council recently gave the go ahead to spend more than $200,000 to install surveillance cameras.

There would be 16 spots for the equipment, with eyes on parking lots, 5th Avenue and Bass Street Landing, to name a few.

City leaders say they’ll help police monitor what’s happening without needing to always assign an officer and that police would have information they need when something goes wrong.

Moline’s also making headway with affordable housing.

The city’s housing authority will utilize $4.5 million in federal money to build 18 apartments and a duplex.

The development at the intersection of 12th Avenue and 41st Street will be called Spring Valley Village.

It involves a total investment of more than $5.8 million.

The city has a waiting list for spots.

Target tenants are low-income, single-parent families with kids.

Plans call to break ground in the fall.

It should take about a year and a half to finish.

Moline’s housing development is a significant investment.

Demand is clearly high.

That camera system itself isn’t a huge deal in the budget, but questions of ethics and privacy could be.

We talked about that on this week’s 4 The Record with Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati.

The thought of public surveillance cameras often raises suspicions and criticism that they are an overreach and government intrusion.

Rayapati addressed why the city feels the need for downtown cameras, if there is a specific incident spurring this, how she will ensure they won’t be abused and concerns that this equipment could be used as traffic cameras to enforce speed and red light laws.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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