Some Downtown Dwellers Look Into Buying Neighborhood Surveillanc - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Some Downtown Dwellers Look Into Buying Neighborhood Surveillance Cameras

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An effort by Jones street residents to get surveillance cameras put up in their lane has been put on hold because of technical issues -- but another neighborhood is close to doing the same thing. Jones Street is just about a block from Monterey Square. An attack on a woman in her garage last month spurred the call for cameras there -- but in Monterey Square, the effort started more than a year ago -- and everyone involved says it's close to becoming a reality.

The quiet beauty of Monterey Square isn't something most would associate with a high crime area - and it's not - but, police crime maps do show three robberies and four property crimes within about a one block radius in the last six months...and incidents like that got neighbors wondering what they could do to prevent it. They approached the city with an idea for cameras...cameras that could connect to the city's surveillance system. Neighbor Reed Dulany explains, "We realized that connectivity for us can happen off of Forsyth Park, so we can put two cameras in if we can fund it ourselves." The city's cameras aren't regularly monitored except during specific events like St. Patrick's Day - but they are recording - and Downtown Precinct Captain Mike Wilkins says they can be a valuable tool for police to solve crimes, "We have the ability to go back for a period of time and pull tape from those areas where those crimes have happened and that's been very successful in developing suspects and identifying suspects and resolving some cases."

That's something that neighbors like the owners of the Folklorico shop just off the square would appreciate after two attempted burglaries. "We found our door - someone tried to crowbar it open, we had a window broken - nothing was stolen, so definitely yeah - I think it would be a great idea, make everybody feel a little more protected," says Heidi Berkeley. And that's the overall goal says Dulany, "Big cities like London do it - there's a reason that it works out - I mean look at what they've been able to accomplish in Boston, in New York - and they were able to find people who did terrible, terrible think because of these cameras and I think it's a wonderful thing for the city to continue doing throughout these squares for the safety of tourists and residents alike."

The goal is to get as many neighbors as possible to chip in for two cameras that would be posted on opposite ends of the square to give good views of both sides. City spokesperson Bret Bell tells News 3 the city is working continuously to expand their network of cameras and connectivity. As SPLOST funds come in, they work with police to determine priority areas for the cameras to go.

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