An Arizona city aroused the suspicions of its own citizens after placing cameras in dozens of fake cactuses around town.
The town leaders of Paradise Valley, Arizona, reportedly did not originally tell civilians about the new surveillance devices.
“I’ve lived here 30 years, and I’ve never seen cameras in a saguaro before,” Randy Evans told FOX10.
Another citizen believes that the cameras were placed in the fake cactuses in order to hide them.
"There were these guys on ladders, these were 3 1/2 foot ladders, and they work working on the top of the cactus, putting the cactus together, a fake cactus," Susanne Chamberlain said.
After consulting the town manager, FOX10 found out the truth of the matter.
“The town is embarking on the installation of license plate readers,” town manager Kevin Burke told the news station.
According to him, the cameras will be able to run license plates of cars on a database of stolen or wanted vehicles. These include cars that have an amber alert on them.
“Again, not trying to hide anything … This was my request before we get going at these one at a time,” he said, explaining why the public was not properly informed of the cameras, “let’s get them all together and make sure we understand and everybody is on the same page."
According to Burke, the cameras are not working as of now.
“We want to make sure we’re answering everybody’s questions about data retention,” he said, “how the things will be used, we want to make sure that is vetted before we turn these things up.”
When asked if he thought the citizens of Paradise Valley should have been informed earlier, he added, “It is probably fair, this technology, we’re always learning about it, and so every time you think you’ve got it covered someone brings up a new idea.”
Burke went on to claim that the city did not intend to be secretive with the cameras by putting them in the cactuses, but rather it was the only place to put them since there were no light poles in those areas.
Photo Credit: FOX10