More police surveillance cameras are coming to Syracuse's streets. Following approval by the Common Council earlier this week, Chief Frank Fowler detailed the proposed locations of the 19 potential new devices and the data he's using to support them. Our Kat De Maria has the story.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler has said it all along: If nine crime cameras installed in the city's Near Westside worked, he'd be back to ask for more. That's what happened before the common council Monday and now the devices are on the way.
"The cameras we are going to put up are going to be located throughout the city," Fowler said.
The chief is considering 19 more cameras, although the exact number would depend on the price. He's planning to put two more up on the Near Westside, dedicate ten to the Southside, lining Midland and South avenues, five in the area of South State Street and Oakwood Avenue and two along Butternut in the Northside. He and the mayor have stressed all along that the cameras' placement was driven by where guns went off.
"We're talking about shots fired, multiple shots fired into these residential neighborhoods and putting the people in these neighborhoods in harm's way," said Fowler.
The chief says more people are on board with the camera project this time around, including, he says, residents overwhelmingly. This time, the chief also has more data.
In the year since the cameras went live, compared with the year before, reported crime decreased 25 percent, including a dramatic reduction in drug calls in the Near Westside.
The chief is hoping for similar results in the new target areas, which begs the question: After that, will he be done? Or back for more?
Fowler said, "As long as shots are being fired and crimes are being committed and we can identify some type of grant money to pay for these cameras, I'm going to continue to ask the public if this is something they’re interested in and if their answer is yes, I'm going to continue to petition the counsel to see if we can expand this project."
Syracuse's police chief says he's hoping to start the crime camera project next month and have them installed by the end of the year.