Like most cities in the United States, the downtown core of Grand Rapids is covered by video surveillance cameras. The cameras are a mix of local government, private, and state government owned cameras. Surveillance cameras monitor private and public spaces, as well as traffic flows and are operated by a number of different entities.

Video Surveillance

In 2004, a local “independent media” blog released a map of surveillance cameras in downtown Grand Rapids. The map was featured in an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) project in 2009 titled “You Are Being Watched” that explored and criticized the spread of

A similar project was made available online in 2014. The Grand Rapids Surveillance Camera Map shows cameras in downtown Grand Rapids with the goal to:

“...raise awareness and encourage critical thinking about the intersections between space (public and private), policing, development, privacy, and surveillance.”

License Plate Scanners

In 2013, the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) also began a program recording license plate information. According to the GRPD and, there are four patrol cars equipped with license plate recording technology that continuously scans cars driving in front and behind the patrol cars, as well as parked cars. The information is stored in a database for one year.

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