Inspired by Chula Vista’s use of technology, Tijuana deploys police drones. Officials in both cities believe drones are an effective tool for law enforcement that can save time and resources by assisting with emergency calls.
But one of the main differences between the two programs is that Tijuana sometimes uses drones to proactively monitor public space in the financial district, tourist areas and elsewhere.
A similar program on the US side of the border would likely stir controversy. Chula Vista has seen a lot of setbacks over the past two years.
Although the two cities are closely related in many ways, reports Julia Woock, they each have their own laws and cultural understandings of privacy. At the same time, the Tijuana program exists without much public debate.
A Mexican human rights lawyer told Woock that authorities there have the power to proactively record in public spaces under certain limits, but the technology raises questions that have not been tested before courts.
Read the full story here.
Police control measure heads to Council – advocates still hoping for changes
On Thursday, just hours after we published an article about community groups’ frustration with a draft of the ordinance that will implement enhanced police surveillance in San Diego, a new draft was posted on the website of the city with several changes that addressed many community concerns. But the last-minute changes left the groups with little time to review and digest the updates before a Friday afternoon meeting when the city council’s utilities and living quarters committee would vote on the project.
Andrea St. Julian, author of Measure B, the ballot measure that laid the groundwork for stronger oversight, said she was “grateful and encouraged by the committee’s willingness to change the proposed order,” but she asked committee members to delay their vote to give the community more time to consider the amendments.
A continuing problem is the ban on anyone with a crime on their record from serving on the commission unless that person can meet a series of requirements that speakers at Friday’s meeting described as having a deterrent effect. The new draft also does not specify whether commission investigators will have access to police shooting scenes – which reform supporters say is essential for a thorough investigation – and advocates urged the committee to add stronger wording in the access to records section of the order. .
“The records section needs to be more robust,” said Doug Case, a member of the Interim Policing Practices Commission. “We need unfettered access to all records maintained by the city.”
The committee voted to send the project to the full city council despite requests for delays, but promised that many of the issues raised by the public could be resolved when the commission drafts its standard operating procedures.
Monica Montgomery Steppe, whose office oversaw the drafting of the implementation order, said the goal was to create legislation “that upholds the spirit and intent of Measure B and is also legally authorized by local and national laws.
As for the felony ban — which council members Raul Campillo, Vivian Moreno and Marni von Wilpert opposed — Montgomery Steppe pledged to eventually change that part of the ordinance, but said the issue required further exploration.
Political report: SDSU and labor argue
Over the weekend, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts shared a juicy chism about a feud between San Diego State University and the unions.
Lewis and Keatts write in the Politics Report that SDSU last week sent a stern letter from its attorneys to the city of San Diego asking the city to finalize the sale of a small scrap of land remaining from the 166 acres that the university bought last year. The school needs the land to complete construction, but the city doesn’t want to move forward until SDSU resolves the labor issue.
A labor leader said the university reneged on promises it made to workers at the start of the Measure G campaign, the initiative that mandated the city to sell the land to SDSU. Brigette Browning, executive secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council and longtime leader of Unite HERE, the union for hospitality and service workers, said she was reassured that the university would take care of the hundreds of Qualcomm stadium workers.
The architect of everything from measuring G to selling the land and now the development, Jack McGrory, said he and the university have made several deals and offers to Browning and its allies. And now he’s exhausted.
Representatives of the current university and the current city took precedence over the dispute, write Lewis and Keatts.
But that’s entirely within the city’s power to manage.
In addition, the city council may, early this year, reform the city’s community planning group system. It’s something Councilman Joe LaCava has pushed with a reform package.
Read the latest political report here.
On the podcast: The crew spoke to Jesse Marx about a month-long sanitary strike and why workers ended up accepting a deal that failed what many actually wanted. Sheriff Bill Gore’s decision to retire early also caught our attention because of what it could mean for the upcoming election. (Pssst, there’s a story here of law enforcement officials ducking early and letting their favorite successor take over and run as the starter to victory.)
Elsewhere in the iron cage: UT columnist Michael Smolens writes about a political dispute brewing in the northern coastal county on sand filling. Beaches vital to tourism are threatened by erosion, and Oceanside wants to build a handful of beach groynes, but southern towns are not happy.
In other news
- Chula Vista hired public relations firm Madaffer Enterprises to help the city create a working group responsible for steering its technology watch policy. (Union-Tribune)
- Seventy-three workers received dismissal letters of San Diego Unified for failing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. These workers represent less than 1% of the district’s employees. (Union-Tribune)
- The North County Transit District Board recently voted to install fences along railway tracks in Del Mar. Residents are not happy. Some believe this will spoil the view from the cliffs and argue that the problem is with access, not safety. (KPBS)
This morning report was written by Jesse Marx and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.