Twenty Four Hours, Million Dollars, Thousand Feet discussed on Morning Edition

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And participate in providing on the ground legal work whether that means preparing coordinated efforts here in california she says they've gotten calls from dozens of barry lawyers who want to help and freddie that jeb romeo k q e d news and in a few minutes we'll get reaction from bay area religious leaders on the separation of families at the border for about ten years security guards in volunteer ears in palo alto kept close watch of the city's cal train crossings a response to the surge in teen suicides that once gripped the area but this summer the city is trying something new replacing guards with cameras kick senior silicon valley editor tanya moseley looks back at the original idea of watching over the tracks and why the city thinks technology will be better caroline cami didn't really have a plan the night she decided to grab a lawn chair and sit along the cal train tracks near her home it was up tober twentieth two thousand nine and all she knew was that teenagers were killing themselves and she had to do something at that point my head assign coming into third grade and a son coming into fifth grade and i started to think what was going to happen what was i doing or why was here what was i doing here watching the trains barrel down the tracks that first night was disorienting because it's very loud and it's very bright and it calms very fast and it takes a long time being out there to get used to the speed at which it calms cami noticed right away that it was hard to see beyond a few feet but she believed her presence would be a deterrent maybe what's really needed somebody to sit in a chair outside when it's cold and just either other moms and dads joined her and at the height of the track watch program one hundred and fifty volunteers rotating shifts kept watch over those tracks this is a spreadsheet people with simply sign on cami did this for three years even after the city added paid security guards and the number of suicides at palo altos four train stops dropped by twenty twelve volunteers began to teeter out and the security guards took over full time and his candies children got older they needed her around more she began to think about the effectiveness of having people out there watching today i was outside and i drove by and i noticed a guard looking at his phone so it is very difficult to be out there for hour after hour and all kinds of weather and after a while when you sit out there and nothing happens time after time and day after day people to begin to lose focus and so the security guards were somewhat of a mixed bag the city says there's no way to know for certain how much of a deterrent people watching the tracks have been trained deaths on the peninsula have gone down schools and community groups have also invested a lot and suicide prevention and education this there's a number of them a security guard stationed at tracks near palo alto high points to a new surveillance camera will soon replace him the city is hired an outside company for one and a half million dollars to monitor the tracks twenty four hours a day vegas advantage the city believes is that cameras will be able to detect movement at night and see up to a thousand feet in each direction people will monitor from a remote location and we'll be able to talk through a speaker to anyone near or on the train tracks as a security guard points out the new cameras palo alto resident mike coffee stops to talk to us on his way to work he ponders this idea of technology being able to replace the presence of a person that day to day rach nothing you know it definitely seems like it's treating the symptom sorry it's treating the symptom rather than treating the disease caroline cami says she's learned there is no one solution to solving the problem of suicide by train surveillance cameras she believes could be an even better deterrent than a human presence how do these things are just hope we try and we hope it works and then we see where it works and we see where it doesn't work when we try and we hope again that that is really the nature of this whole process the security guards will stay in place throughout the summer as the city tests the new cameras that transition to full time surveillance will come in the.

Coming up next