Syracuse Police got the go-ahead on Monday afternoon, to expand their surveillance camera network beyond the city's West Side.
Syracuse Common Counclors, by a 7 - 1 vote, approved the use of about $680-thousand dollars in grants to install new cameras on Syracuse's North and South sides.
Right now there are 23 cameras on the West Side. First Deputy Police Chief Dave Barrette says the new cameras will go along the Butternut corridor, one at Butternut and Park Street, another a block away towards Lodi Street (it's just a block away from Franklin Magnet School, which is already wired, so connections will be quicker and less expensive). Chief Barrette also says Colvin Street, Midland Avenue, Tallman Street and the South Avenue area will be getting cameras.
Chief Fowler has credited the existing cameras with making an arrest in one murder (on South Geddes Street last August), as well as solving drug and shots fired cases. Chief Barrette says crime rates have gone down in neighborhoods where the cameras are established, and that neighborhood groups are asking for them.
Today's lone 'no' vote came from Councilor Jean Kessner, who's also expressed concerns in the past about privacy issues.Barrie Gewanter, with the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) in Syracuse, also at today's City Hall Meeting, says she worries about public expectations--and protections with the cameras. Gewanter says theyre's no proof that the cameras deter crime, and that the public should not expect a crime decrease if they go up. She also worries about privacy rights of neighbors.
Chief Barrette says there is no live monitoring from the surveillance cameras, that video is only saved for 14 days, and can only be viewed, in connection with a specific investigation.
On Syracuse's North Side this afternoon, neighbors--none of whom wanted to go on our cameras--told us they're happy the cameras are going up.