You would think that the nation's capital in Washington D.C. would have the highest level of surveillance, but that distinction belongs to none other than Beverly Hills.
A report from the Los Angeles Times says that this wealthy town of 32,500 has one closed-circuit camera for every 17 residents, making it one of the most surveilled cities in the world.
In addition to 2,000 close-circuit cameras, the city monitors their roads with “drones and dozens of devices that can read license plates and automatically check them against law enforcement databases to find unregistered plates or stolen vehicles.”
Although an impressive network of surveillance is already in place, the City Council of Beverly Hills wants more. In 2020 they agreed to purchase another 200 security cameras, while also enacting a 5-year, $14 million dollar plan to acquire 900 more cameras and other equipment, with an additional $7.4 million budget for cyber-security upgrades.
While some protest that the excessive use of surveillance compromises civil liberties, the city contends that it is part of a larger plan to make Beverly Hills a "smart city" where information is collected on residents and visitors to address "common urban challenges such as traffic, sanitation and public safety.
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