Referencing recent active shooter incidents across the country, Carlsbad City Manager Scott Chadwick kicked off a discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting about steps the Police Department has taken to enhance security for community members and city staff.
Police Chief Neil Gallucci and Chief Innovation Officer David Graham updated the City Council on Carlsbad’s recent steps to increase safety and security by expanding the use of security guards at city buildings, increasing and standardizing the use of public safety cameras, providing training to employees, schools and community members on how to respond to an active shooter situation and new equipment used at special events.
Security guards The city is planning to hire additional private security guards to patrol City Hall, the Cole Library, Smerdu Community Garden, the Village area, Pine Avenue Community Center, Holiday Park, the Library Learning Center, Dove Library and other spots around the city as required.
Public safety cameras The city is adding or upgrading safety cameras at city buildings and parks. Cameras are already in operation at Alga Norte Community Park, Faraday Center, Pine Avenue Community Center, the Safety Center and the Safety Training Center. New locations include Aviara and Poinsettia community parks, City Hall and all three library locations.
The city plans to upgrade and standardize its existing cameras so officials can access the video streams as needed, and to make surveillance cameras a standard feature at any new city facilities.
According to Graham, the city follows a policy on the placement and use of surveillance cameras intended to protect people’s right to privacy. Camera locations must carry conspicuous signs to inform the public of their use and are not placed in areas where there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy. The chief of police must approve their installation. A copy of the policy is available on the city’s website (on the Police Department’s page).
Chief Gallucci said the cameras recently enabled his officers to identify and arrest the person suspected of smashing seven windows at the city’s Senior Center over the course of several months.
“Run, hide, fight” training Police officials have also been providing training to employees, residents and others on how to react to a possible violent attack.
To date, the Police Department has 18 presented “run, hide, fight” trainings, reaching 450 city employees, 200 members of the public and 500 school employees and students. The department has also given 45 presentations to businesses, foundations and churches.
Event Security To help prevent incidents at special events and other large gatherings, the Police Department recently took delivery of equipment that enables a bird’s eye view of crowds. The department has also begun using new mobile barricades around high profile events.
In a separate item Tuesday, the City Council approved accepting a $46,000 grant from the San Diego Office of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative grant program. The funds have been earmarked for purchasing safety equipment for the Police Department’s SWAT team.