Olympic security cameras may monitor Vancouver fireworks-goers

Spectators at this year’s Celebration of Light fireworks display will have another reason to smile: for the security cameras.

The City of Vancouver is looking to test-run during this summer’s fireworks festival the closed-circuit television system it will deploy in the 2010 Olympics.

A CCTV control room at Vancouver’s Emergency Operations Centre, which a staff report described as a “seismically-resilient building”, is hoped to be up and running by late July in time for the show.

The staff report recommends that Mayor Gregor Robertson accept a grant from the provincial government, and request funds from the RCMP-led Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit for the video monitoring system.

City manager Penny Ballem endorsed the recommendation in the report which is included in the agenda for coucil's city services and budgets committee meeting on Thursday (March 26).

The report explained that the city has worked with the province and Integrated Security Unit to “obtain appropriate resources for CCTV deployment where deemed necessary”.

It noted that the Vancouver police will neither manage the deployment nor monitor the cameras during the 2010 Games.

The city had requested $435,161.81 from the province for the infrastructure component of the CCTV system, whose deployment, according to the report, will be temporary in nature.

The report also noted that the Integrated Security Unit has allocated $2.1 million for the procurement and installation of cameras.

During the Games, the cameras will see action in the entertainment district, at the cruise ship terminal, and at the city-run “Live Site” where spectators can watch Olympic events on video screens.

“If approved by Council, there are no financial implications for the City of Vancouver,” the report stated.