Winter Springs residents protest surveillance cameras

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WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - Winter Springs city leaders are taking drastic measures, to keep residents safe.

In October the city was given an $80,000 Homeland Security grant to install surveillance cameras in public places.

Since then police told Channel 9's Bianca Castro protests from residents will not stop those cameras from going up.

Some people are concerned about being recorded when they're out and about in the city.

Arsenio Calle showed Castro reminders he keeps of Cuba, the country he fled when he was 27.

“I had to leave my country because of people checking me out,” Calle said.

When he learned about surveillance cameras coming to Winter Springs his homeland was the first thing to come to mind.

“When I see cameras installed in the city that reminds me of Cuba, the country I left to come here,” Calle said.

City officials have been getting emails and earfuls at commission meetings about the Homeland Security money it's getting to install what could eventually be up to 125 cameras around the city.

They'll first go up on the water treatment plant then places like City Hall, public parks and parking lots.

Police said they're to help look for crime and a lot cheaper than hiring officers.

The city’s police chief said the cameras that'll go on businesses can be put on timers to come on at certain times of day, like the end of business days.

They can also be on motion sensors to anyone who may be committing a crime.

WFTV learned one local group is suing the city of Winter Park for having similar cameras in claims of privacy invasion.

The group said Wednesday Winter Springs is next.

The first cameras will go up on the water treatment plant possibly in the next two to three months.

The police chief said the cameras are not violating anyone's privacy rights and the city is prepared to fight a potential lawsuit.