Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

Tampa man releases map of police cameras set up for RNC

TAMPA — A Tampa Web developer has mapped 59 security cameras posted downtown for the Republican National Convention.

Jon Gales, 27, lives downtown and started noticing workers installing the cameras in June. He has since tracked what he believes to be all of the cameras and designed a map that can be viewed at rncctv.com.

When viewed on a smartphone, the map shows visitors which cameras are likely filming them.

The city is paying Miami-based Aware Digital about $2 million for the cameras. The money comes from a $50 million federal convention security grant.

Gales says his actions were not political or protest-based. He said he would have done it for the Democratic National Convention if he lived in Charlotte, N.C.

"These cameras could be here for years afterwards," he said. "It's just something I wanted to do for my neighborhood."

Police said Friday that they are fine with Gales' project.

"The locations are not a secret," said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Authorities hope that if protesters know they're being filmed, it might encourage them to follow the law and act peacefully.

The city owns the cameras. Authorities have not said what they plan to do with them after the convention.

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