BANNING ( —Authorities have installed a dozen surveillance cameras in Banning to watch its residents.

Banning Police Chief Leonard Purvis said the cameras are a way for officers to keep an eye on the city without having as many patrols on the ground.

“We definitely don’t want anybody to feel that we’re trying to be Big Brother, we just want to be able to provide an extra presence,” he said.

While the cameras aren’t manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the video is stored for 30 days.

“They’re not going to know when we’re watching and that’s what we want. We want them to be surprised, we don’t want them to know exactly when we’re watching, but we are,” said Purvis.

The police chief said the system is modeled after one in the Redlands, and he hopes the new method will be just as successful in Banning.

“You actually had the most serious crime that could occur, which is a homicide, captured on videotape. And that’s incredible for any investigator to be able to go back and look exactly at what happened,” said Purvis.

The police department also plans to add two speakers to the system in the park.

“The first time you get accosted in a park or one of your family members or one of your kids gets approached in a park, you’re going to be glad we have it on camera,” said technician Liza Kester.

The security cameras will be fully operational in a couple weeks.

Police plan to add an additional 100 cameras in the next few years.


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