The city will spend about $1.5 million to install video cameras in key parts of Oahu to help bolster security for visiting dignitaries who will be here for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative conference in November.
The money, which will come largely from the budgets of various city departments, will be used to buy and install 34 cameras in Waikiki, downtown Honolulu and Ko Olina in time for the arrival of the leaders of 21 APEC member countries the weekend of Nov. 11, city officials told members of the City Council Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs Committee this morning. About $175,000 is coming from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Committee members raised concerns about how the cameras may affect free speech and civil rights during the conference but nonetheless advanced a resolution approving the use of the cameras.
After the conference, most of the cameras will be turned over for use as traffic monitoring cameras by the city Department of Transportation Services, said Gordon Bruce, city chief information officer.
The resolution also would clear the way for the Honolulu Police Department to monitor about 200 existing traffic cameras on the island for security reasons.
HPD Assistant Chief Greg Lefcourt said the cameras will provide law enforcement agencies a tool that can help determine where security personnel should be placed during the conference.