The Syracuse Police Department is installing more surveillance cameras. Neighborhoods on the south, near west, and north sides will receive cameras as part of the department's "COPS" program, which stands for Criminal Observation and Protection System.
Syracuse police met with local neighbors to discuss the program and answer questions. Anna Morris, who owns a local beauty parlor, is in favor of the cameras. "One thing I say about the cameras is they're not prejudiced, okay?" Anna said. "They take the good as well as the bad. And if we can have assistance in our community that will help deter crime, I think that's a job well done."
Some people at the meeting were not in favor of the new cameras. "I had about three nephews already killed," said Charles Pierce-El. "I had cousins shot. I had a son shot. So you know, these things are dear to me. But are they worth giving up my constitutional rights? I don't think so."
Police Chief Frank Fowler hopes the new measures will significantly decrease crime rates. "I'm hoping they go down to zero," he said. "Zero across the board. That's me. I'm an optimist."
Police Chief Fowler also said that the cameras are meant to deter drug dealing, shots fired, and nuisance-based crime.
The cameras will be clearly visible and labeled with the word "police." The police said they will only record video, which will be automatically deleted after fourteen days. The cameras are also not monitored live.
The new surveillance cameras will be installed beginning in August until September.