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      Syracuse Common Council moves forward with plans for surveillance cameras

      The Syracuse Common Council voted Monday to expand the Syracuse Police Departments video surveillance program.

      Police installed nine video cameras on the city's near west side 6 months ago. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says there is no question that crime has gone down in areas where the cameras have gone up. "We've been able to trackdown people involved in a shots fired incident, a murder and a major drug ring all by using the cameras," he says.

      The city plans to add 14 more cameras at a cost of more than $150,000. That money will come from a combination of federal and state grants. Police are still deciding where the new cameras will go.

      Mercedes Bloodworth, who lives on the cit y's southwest side, says she would like to see the cameras put up in her neighborhood. "It's been a good thing for the westside we want a part of that too. We want to feel protected in our neighborhood as well," she says.

      Not everyone thinks adding more video surveillance cameras is a good idea. Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner was the lone councilor to vote against the plan. "In my heart, I don't like the idea. It's a slippery slope and I don't know where all of these video cameras will end," she says.

      The city hopes to begin installing the additional video cameras this spring.