EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island (ACLU) is expressing concern over an audio and video recording system inside East Providence City Hall.

ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown sent a letter to Mayor Bob DaSilva earlier this month after several residents filed complaints regarding the recording system.

“As troubling as we find the pervasive video surveillance, the fact that the surveillance system also records audio is particularly fraught since it is unlawful to record conversations without the consent of at least one party to a conversation,” Brown wrote in the letter.

The complaints lodged against the city were first reported by The Hummel Report.

DaSilva tells 12 News the surveillance cameras were installed in several city offices back in 2014, though they only started recording audio a few weeks ago.

The mayor said the reason the city decided to start recording audio is for quality control.

“It’s just way to protect our employees from allegations and protect the public from any issues that may arise,” he said.

The cameras that record both video and audio are located in the city clerk’s, treasurer’s and tax assessor’s offices, as well as the building and zoning department.

While Brown stands firm on it being illegal to record conversations, DaSilva disagrees.

The mayor said consent is not needed for recordings in public buildings, especially when there are signs posted that tell them it’s happening.

DaSilva said anyone who has an issue with being recorded can ask city employees to conduct services in a place where the cameras aren’t located.

“A member of the public who wants service from their city or town should be able to get it without having to go through hoops, merely because they want to exercise their legitimate rights,” Brown said.

The ACLU has requested the city stop recording until a formal policy is adopted to protect residents.

DaSilva said the city is now in the process of drafting that policy, but a city spokesperson tells 12 News the city plans on continuing to record interactions within those offices.