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Surveillance Technology Work Groups Seeks Input on Imaging of Traffic and Infrastructure Assets – Our City

In accordance with its Surveillance Technology Policy, the City of Syracuse is seeking community input on a Department of Public Works (DPW) on a software program used to assess traffic and infrastructure assets along city roads. The right of way (ROW) imaging technology by Cyclomedia provides current, accurate images of all City streets.

DPW oversees the public ROW and responds to issues every day of the year. The scanned imaging can provide a greater level of detail without distortion to see the condition of various city assets including parking lots, fire hydrants, sidewalks and signs. The technology could prevent unnecessary and redundant trips, aiding in resource management, reducing driving costs, saving employee time and allowing for better safety measures on the job.

Only credentialed city staff will have access to the system through a web portal. The technology from Cyclomedia, a data company, uses vehicle-mounted scanners to gather this information. Similar to Google Maps street views, information collected would be scrubbed by Cyclomedia’s algorithm to blur faces, license plates and any other identifying information. The raw data is then deleted.

The City’s Surveillance Technology Advisory Group, appointed by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, will accept public comment on the proposed technology for 14 days beginning April 6 through April 20. To submit a comment, residents can visit https://bit.ly/RightOfWaySyr.

Engaging residents in public comment on surveillance technology is part of Mayor Walsh’s Surveillance Technology Policy. Mayor Walsh signed an Executive Order for Surveillance Technology in 2020 as part of the City’s response to police reform and accountability. The executive order also led to the creation of the City’s Surveillance Technology Work Group which guarantees proper vetting and transparency on surveillance technology use by city government.

The work group is spearheaded by the City’s Chief Innovation and Data Officer and is made up of city staff, community advocates, and technology and ethics experts. Questions regarding the review of surveillance technology can be directed to http://bit.ly/syrsurveillancetech.

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