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      Police surveillance cameras proposed for downtown Syracuse

      The Downtown Committee of Syracuse wants to install surveillance cameras throughout much of the downtown section of the city.

      The proposal will be formally unveiled at a meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the Syracuse Common Council on March 18. Executive Director Merike Treier told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, the Downtown Committee would propose placing 10 police cameras in the downtown core. She says her organization is working closely with the Syracuse Police Department on the project. Exact locations have not yet been determined but Treier says they would placed along Jefferson, Salina, Clinton, Warren and Walton Streets. Treier says they would be purchased through a mix of grants and the Downtown Committee's own funds.

      The cameras are intended to detect and deter crime in a part of the city that is undergoing rapid change. Developers are investing $313 million to transform the downtown section of Syracuse into a residential neighborhood with a mix of retail and commercial business. Already 3,000 people live in the downtown Syracuse.

      "With more population comes more opportunity and we want to make sure downtown remains one of the safest districts." Treier says.

      Police cameras have already been installed in high crime neighborhoods in Syracuse. Police say they have cut down on a variety of crimes including drug crimes, burglaries, violent crimes, suspicious incidents, disturbances, and nuisance calls.

      Syracuse Police spokesperson Tom Connellan says, "We've found them to be an excellent tool. When something does happen they have helped us solve crimes." Connellan says surveillance cameras led to arrests in shooting incidents, a hit and run traffic accident and a homicide.

      The Downtown Committee says a recent survey of 500 people found that 85 percent of respondents support the installation of surveillance cameras in downtown Syracuse.