Syracuse's Downtown Committee is installing 10 security cameras in the neighborhood. The committee is fully funding and maintaining the roughly $137 thousand dollar project.
On Tuesday night, the committee presented the plan to the Syracuse Common Council's Public Safety Committee.
The project has a significant amount of support from downtown businesses and residents. A survey of 500 people by the Downtown Committee found 59% believe the cameras would enhance their sense of safety, while 52% think the cameras could be a viable tool for police.
"I feel safe walking around the city, but I think there's a lot of nuisance crimes that might be prevented by people just being aware that there are cameras and someone is watching," said Melinda Henley, who lives and owns property in Downtown Syracuse.
"Generally, I feel safe, but I would feel safer with the cameras, sure," said Will Chisolm, who lives downtown. "I mean, I"ve called the police on several occassions. It would be nice if somewhere there was a camera and someone was monitoring it so I wouldn't have to make those calls."
The cameras will be placed on Jefferson, Clinton, Salina, Warren and Walton Streets. The area has recently seen more than $300 million dollars invested in retail and residential space.
"We're a main population center," said Merika Treier, Executive Director of the Downtown Committee. "We're a significant tourism draw, so anything that we can do to make our visitors feel safe and encourage continued investment in downtown is something that we're supportive of."
The cameras will be visible as a means of deterring crime. Syracuse Police say security cameras have already helped in high-crime areas of the city. "They've had significant reductions in crime in those neighborhoods," said Syracuse Police First Deputy Chief Dave Barrette. "And they've helped us solve homicides, a variety of robberies, burglaries, that kind of thing. So, they're working out well."
The cameras will be installed in late spring or early summer.