The City of Santa Maria operates a public safety video surveillance system, termed as "Operation Blue Watch," for the purpose of creating a safer environment for all those who live, work, and visit the City.
The Santa Maria Police Department has designed the scope and capabilities of the public safety video surveillance system to minimize its negative impact on constitutional rights and values and to provide for technological and administrative safeguards to reduce the potential for misuse and abuse of the system. The system is flexible in nature and may be moved throughout the city in order to further a clearly articulated law enforcement purpose.
Cameras may be placed in strategic locations throughout the City at the direction or with the approval of the Chief of Police. These cameras can be used for detecting and deterring crime, to help safeguard against potential threats to the public, to help manage emergency response situations during natural and man-made disasters and to assist City officials in providing services to the community.
In addition, the public safety camera system may be useful for the following purposes:
- To assist in identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offenders.
- To assist in gathering evidence for criminal and civil court actions.
- To help emergency services personnel maintain public order.
- To monitor pedestrian and vehicle traffic activity.
- To help improve the general environment on the public streets.
- To assist in providing effective public services.
Examples of video surveillance (short clips);