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Kalamazoo city commissioners halt proposal expanding downtown police surveillance

Security camera

Kalamazoo city commissioners voted Monday to delay a proposal that would expand downtown police surveillance.

The proposal would allow businesses to install cameras accessible to the police through a contract with the surveillance company, Fusus. Police would only be able to access the cameras from businesses that opt-in to the program.

David Boysen is the deputy chief for Kalamazoo Public Safety.

In a city commissioner meeting, he explained that allowing police access to the cameras could help police respond promptly and deter crime.

“We're able to, hopefully, number one discourage those types of crimes from happening in the first place, but if they do we're much more efficient solving those crimes,” Boysen said.

At the commissioner meeting, residents expressed confusion about its funding and concerns about privacy.

“Fusus pulls together private and public sources into a single platform. So this is not a mass surveillance system, this allows us to leverage existing cameras as we respond to crimes in-progress,” Boysen explained at the meeting.

The commissioners voted to delay the proposal.

City officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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