Take Action: Reject mass surveillance in Seattle!

The City of Seattle is taking steps to acquire and deploy three dangerous surveillance technologies in city neighborhoods: CCTV cameras, an acoustic gunshot location system (AGLS), and real-time crime center (RTCC) software.  

Seattle deserves public safety solutions that work. Unfortunately, extensive research shows that such surveillance technologies are ineffective at reducing crime. Instead, they violate people's civil liberties, harm the communities they're deployed in (specifically contributing to the historic disproportionate over-policing and over-surveillance of BIPOC communities), and waste police resources.  

Instead of wasting public funds on strategies that don't work, the City should invest in evidence-based solutions that do reduce crime, such as community-based gun violence prevention programs and neighborhood improvement projects.


1. Fill out three comment forms

The City is rushing through the legally-mandated process to review the risks posed by these technologies.  
You can tell the City you oppose mass surveillance in Seattle by filling out a comment form for each of the three surveillance technologies by the new extended deadline of April 12th. Feel free to use our sample comment and edit it as you see fit.

 ◾ Surveillance Technology #1: CCTV cameras

Sample comment:  
I would like to express my strong opposition to deploying closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Seattle. CCTV cameras do not prevent gun violence from occurring, and research shows that this fact does not change when CCTV cameras are deployed with acoustic gunshot detection technology. Not only will CCTV cameras not help improve public safety, but they also threaten the privacy of entire communities by surveilling them as they go about their daily lives – and they will contribute to the historic overpolicing of Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color. Seattle should not be a surveillance state, and I urge the City to not purchase or deploy this technology.


◾ Surveillance Technology #2: Automatic Gunshot Location System (AGLS)

Sample comment: 
I would like to express my strong opposition to deploying an acoustic gunshot location system in Seattle. Independent, peer-reviewed research shows that this technology does not reduce gun violence. We know from research in other cities that this technology routinely sends police out to neighborhoods based on false alerts as often as 90% of the time. Instead, this technology has actively caused harm to communities, disproportionately to BIPOC communities. This is why cities like Chicago and Atlanta have chosen not to renew their contracts with providers of these systems. Seattle should learn from these other cities’ negative experiences, and invest in public safety solutions that actually work, like community-based gun violence prevention programs. Please do not purchase or deploy this ineffective and dangerous technology, it has no place in the city of Seattle.


◾ Surveillance Technology #3: Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) software

Sample comment:  
I would like to express my strong opposition to deploying real-time crime center (RTCC) software in Seattle. I am deeply concerned that this technology has the potential to violate privacy and civil liberties and undermines democratic values. Using this technology will greatly expand the surveillance infrastructure in Seattle and could be used to capture extensive personal information about people, including where they live or work and their activities. This extensive data collection and surveillance would also put communities that Seattle has sought to protect at risk, such as currently over-policed BIPOC communities, undocumented immigrants or people seeking abortions. Seattle should not be a surveillance state, and I urge the city not to purchase or deploy this technology.  


2. Attend the Public Hearing

You can also attend the public hearing 6-7pm on Tuesday February 27th 
  • Virtual: Webex Virtual Meeting 
  • In person @ Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133) 


3. Contact your councilmembers or the mayor’s office directly

You can email the City Council at [email protected], or reach out to the councilmember for your district by looking them up on the Council website. You can contact the mayor’s office directly by filling out this form on their website.

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