Wasco city leaders approve new camera system, rebate program to boost safety

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The city of Wasco will have a new network of eyes to keep a watch for crime and help investigators solve cases.

During the Tuesday night city council meeting, members voted to contract cameras from Flock Safety and create a local program that rebates citizens for the costs of buying home security cameras.

Flock Safety cameras are wireless and use software that can read license plates and identify the make and model of vehicles. They would be used by the sheriff’s substation in Wasco to help with investigations.

“It’s going to help catch crime in the community as it occurs and it will definitely be another tool in our bag as we work with our law enforcement partners,” said Mayor Alex Garcia.

The Neighborhood Camera Rebate Program will help Wasco’s citizens cover some costs of buying their own cameras, up to $150 or 50%. The program, a $100,000 investment, would require people to join the Kern County Sheriff’s Office’s camera registry, which allows investigators to know what homes may have caught evidence of crimes.

Mayor Garcia said the city will send a news release tomorrow, but they are working to get the Flock Safety cameras up “as soon as possible” and hope the rebate program will be available “in the coming weeks.”

He said the actions will go hand-in-hand with the community-based approaches to help curb violence, including monthly neighborhood meetings with the Mayor and Moms group formed in the wake of 2 deadly shootings during the week of Christmas last year.

“We’ll be using [Mayor and Moms] to help spread the word about the new programs and help implement them with their neighbors,” Garcia said. “We’re doing the most we can to meet the neighbors and residents in the middle.”

The date and time for the February meeting is being worked out, and the mayor encourages people to follow his Facebook page for updates.

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