GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After District 8 Alderperson Chris Wery challenged the City of Green Bay’s recording cameras that are found on the first and second floors of City Hall, officials have responded.

The City of Green Bay released a statement surrounding the backlash it has received from the discovery of the cameras.

The City of Green Bay is focused on maintaining a safe and secure environment for the public and for city staff within our City Hall. Following complaints from City staff and members of the public, the Green Bay City Administration felt it necessary to enhance the security system on the first and second floors of City Hall between Winter 2021 and Summer 2022. 

City of Green Bay

Officials have shared additional information about the security cameras, saying this type of security system is lawful and commonplace. A memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Council, dated February 7, 2023, did not “detail serious legal concerns” but instead noted that security cameras with audio capabilities do not violate Wisconsin’s Electronic Surveillance Control Law (WESCL).

There has reportedly been similar technology in place in the Green Bay Police Department’s lobby for nearly a decade. Green Bay currently has 77 security cameras as a part of its transit system, and the buses have had video and audio components for nearly 20 years. In addition, the Metro Transit lobby has had audio/video monitoring since 2009.

“As is common knowledge, security cameras have become an integral part of public safety across the country,” stated city officials. “There are 14 cameras located in multiple public areas of City Hall, including entrances, exits, and hallways. In addition, three of those cameras, located only in the hallways of the first and second floors, have audio capability.”

The City Hall cameras are reportedly not police surveillance. However, the Green Bay Police Department does have access to the feed for the purposes of responding to an emergency.

“The footage is not continuously monitored by City staff,” continued officials. “After the fact, video and audio have been reviewed and proved valuable in gathering information about accidents, altercations, and damage to property at City Hall.”

Signage is not required in these circumstances, but City Administration has decided to install signage at City Hall, within the Metro Transit lobby, and in the lobby of the Green Bay Police Department in the near future.