Syracuse Police want permanent cameras around downtown Syracuse's Clinton Square, to monitor major events there.
And, unlike the crime cameras already installed on the city south, west and north sides, this monitoring would be real time, with live feeds of events.
Police told us this afternoon they'd been doing the live monitoring from mobile units for the past year.They're now applying for a $50-thousand Homeland Security grant to put up four permanent cameras around the festival and events site. Captain Dave Mirizio, who's heading up the project, says its to give first responders a look at suspicious people as well as weather and crowd conditions, to make them more able to respond quickly to emergencies.
The idea of continuous surveillance does not sit well with the Civil Liberties Union. Barrie Gewanter tells us 'we have the right to be left alone,' and she's particularly concerned about surveillance of Constitutionally-protected free speech rights, like peaceful demonstrations and protests.
She's working with police, who've agreed to amend their camera surveillance policies to prohibit surveillance of protests.
The grant application and installation will take about six months, with expectations that there will be live-eye surveillance, at the start of next spring's festival season in Clinton Square.