Installation of Surveillance Cameras In Hollister Streets

A letter to the residents of Hollister and their elected officials on the decision to install surveillance/spy cameras:

The cameras, in addition to recording your every move (24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year) have the capability to capture and record sounds – your voice and conversation with other individuals, including your cell phone conversations.                                                                                 

As part of a public service assignment for my Video TV media class, I invited the mayor and city council of Hollister to participate in an on-camera interview about their decision to approve a contract for well over a-quarter-of-a-million dollars to Surveillance Grid Integrated Inc., (SGI) of Morgan Hill do the installation.

Following the conversation, an editorial against the proposal was issued in response to the questions posed and positions of the mayor and city council member who argued in favor of the surveillance/spy cameras.

The following is provided to inform, educate and engage the electorate on the implication of the decision and for the purpose of weighing its impact on our quality of life in Hollister and great potential of violating our privacy and civil liberties guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Moreover, it is offered to engage the public in a debate for and against the city council’s decision and its reconsideration.

Better utilization of our scarce and limited city funds that directly address and benefit our community is in order. The unjustifiable expenditure on expensive surveillance/spy cameras, with audio recording capability, which do not provide any additional security nor guarantees safety, it is a hoax and a wasteful give-away of precious fiscal resources.

Therefore, the engagement of the electorate on the decision of our elected and appointed officials is required and vital.

Luis Burguillo

As a student of the media and journalism, I am interested in utilizing the medium in order to assure that the residents of the City of Hollister and San Benito County are alerted, informed and educated on the official actions of their elected officials who are sworn to preserve, protect and defend the US constitution and Bill of Rights. More importantly, their engagement in the political process will hold the leaders accountable for their actions/decisions and lead to an improved governance.