(KRON) – After a spate of shootings this year, the calls to install cameras on freeways have gotten louder. Two hundred closed-circuit television cameras are slated to be installed statewide – and Caltrans says eight of those are already up the East Bay.
Back in May, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced funding for new freeway cameras around the state to catch criminals who commit violent crimes on California’s freeways. On Thursday, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced murder charges against three suspects accused of killing 23-month-old Jasper Wu on an Oakland freeway.
“The horrific nightmare for the Wu family and their baby being killed in such a senseless and violent manner can never be reconciled,” said O’Malley
On Nov. 6, 2021, the toddler was killed by a stray bullet while he was sleeping in his car seat. The Wu family was caught in the middle of a rolling gun battle between rival gangs on Interstate 880 in Oakland. Jasper’s father attended the press conference.
“They wish that no family, no one will have to go through what they’ve gone through and they want to keep everybody safe,” said Carl Chan, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce president.
Chan has thrown his support behind the Wu family, calling for more freeway cameras to be installed. Since Wu’s death, there have been several more freeway shootings on I-880 and I-580.
“Innocent people are quite literally caught in the crossfire,” O’Malley said.
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The new CCTV cameras are high-definition, and they should be able to detect the type of vehicle, license plate number, and even the number of people inside. Caltrans is funding the pilot program with a one-time expense of $10 million.
A spokesperson for Caltrans tells KRON4 they’re still evaluating exactly where the cameras should go. The governor’s office previously said the cameras will be installed in Alameda and Contra Costa counties along the mainlines of Interstate 880, 580, State Route 4, 24 and 185.
A spokesperson for Caltrans says the remaining camera installations are slated to take place in the spring of 2023.