T he cops call the m "COPS" which stands for Criminal Observation and Protection System. The Syracuse police the cameras up on Geddes Street and in other parts of the west side a year ago to give them an extra set of eyes in tracking down criminals.
M ark Wright says they've made a difference. The neighborhood resident says there's less crime wherever a camera keeps watch. "I feel safer now to walk in the neighborhood since they got these cameras," says Wright.
P olice Chief Frank Fowler says it's time to put up more of these cameras in other parts of the city where crime is prevalent.
This week, the Syracuse Police Department is sponsoring three community meetings to inform residents about expanding the COPS program. The meetings will be held:
Monday, June 25th, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
1453 South State Street
Wednesday, June 27th, 7:00 pm - 9:00pm
Grant Middle School
2400 Grant Blvd.
Thursday, June 28th, 6:30pm - 8:30 pm
Delaware Elementary School
900 S. Geddes St.
" T he COPS cameras are a very effective tool and they're proven to be effective ... our numbers support the fact that they are." Fowler claims.
A ccording to Syracuse Police , the nine surveillance cameras have made a difference in specific crime ridden areas of the west side.
I n 2010 , before the cameras went up , there were 115 reports of Shots Fired but last year there were 99.
I n 2010 there were 174 Burglaries while last year there were 142.
A ssaults went down from 76 in 2010 to 60 in 2011.
D rug Arrests plummeted from 524 in 2010 to just 208 last year.
C ontrary to popular belie f, C hief Fowler says the presence of COPS cameras do not move the criminals from one neighborhood to another. "They do it in a place in a location that they're comfortable with. You won't find a person, because we put a camera in one part of the city, to move to another neighborhood they don't know and they're not comfortable with to set up their criminal operation." Fowler said.
The Chief says exact locations for the expanded COPS cameras have not yet been determined. He says federal grants will pay for the surveillance cameras.