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City Moving Forward with Surveillance Camera Pilot Program in the River District

Council has approved a proposed plan to install video cameras in the River District to promote safety for citizens. 

In the report presented at yesterday evening’s regular Council meeting, Staff recommended a three-year camera pilot in the River District costing up $80,000 which would include the installation of up to 17 cameras in two phases. The entire amount of the project funding will be taken from the Community Policing Reserve and Cannabis Reserve Funds rather than taxation. 

Following the tragic death of River District business owner Sharif Rahman last summer, there was a call for action from the public to add increased safety and security measures in the River District, including video cameras, extra lighting, and additional uniformed foot patrol. The City Manager has been meeting regularly with the Owen Sound Police Chief over the past few months to discuss the implementation of all three of these measures. 

Video surveillance can improve a community’s well-being and combat criminal activities by enhancing public safety, aiding law enforcement in crime prevention, and providing valuable evidence in investigations. However, the success of the pilot program will depend on integrating with other strategies and considering privacy concerns. City Staff have carefully assessed the specific needs and challenges of the River District and drafted the three-year pilot program in collaboration with Owen Sound Police Service (OSPS). 

The video system will capture video footage and store that information in accordance with the City’s Video Surveillance Program Policy. All cameras will be located on City-owned property and will not have audio capabilities. Additionally, the proposed video surveillance system does not offer real-time monitoring.  

The City will work with OSPS over the next three months to create a memorandum of understanding and standard operating procedures that will allow OSPS to have direct access to the system while ensuring that the City remains compliant with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. 

To view the Staff Report, proposed camera locations, and other details, click here. 

For more information, please contact Tim Simmonds, City Manager at 519-376-4440 ext. 1210 or email 


"Owen Sound has seen ongoing growth in the River District, with new stores opening and more people visiting and shopping. The City will continue to support and work with partners at the River District Board of Management, the Owen Sound Police Service, the Chamber of Commerce, and other community partners to increase safety and vibrancy in the River District.” 

-Mayor Ian Boddy 

Quick Facts: 

  • Council has approved a plan to implement a three-year security camera pilot project in the River District costing $80,000 
  • Phase one will have nine cameras installed at various intersections along 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets in the first phase. 
  • The cameras will not have audio capabilities or the ability to collect other sensory information. Also, they will be installed to be: 
    • stationary and point at public areas; 
    • located on property owned by the City; 
    • restricted to prohibit the viewing of locations not intended to be monitored; and 
    • prevented from looking through the window of an adjacent building or areas where a higher level of privacy is expected. 


Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
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