Talk@10: Surveillance Cameras for Syracuse


Both sides are speaking out in the debate about putting cameras up on Syracuse's Near West Side.

The common council is considering a proposal that would put up nine cameras in public areas where there's been a high number of shots fired calls to police. A public hearing was held Tuesday night in the council chambers of city hall. About 50 people came out to listen to what police about what's included in the proposal. Neighbors also voiced their opinions.

Those in favor say it could help crack down on crime, those against are concerned about privacy and what message it sends.

People also had questions about what the video could be used for and how long it stays. Police say the cameras are marked and very obvious. They would be paid for with federal stimulus money.

Police say the video would only be kept for a set limit of time, would have no audio and would be in areas where people should not expect privacy. City residents are split. Bernard Smith says he is in favor of the cameras and believe they would deter crime. "The average person I think, intent on doing something criminal, if they realize that they are not going to be able to do it covertly, they aren't going to do it," Smith said.

Martin Jacobs is against the proposal. He says the cameras are "large and intrusive" and sends a message to people visiting and those who live there.


The Syracuse Common Council's Public Safety Committee will meet tonight to discuss a plan to add nine surveillance cameras in the city's near west side.

The project would cost $125,000 and be paid for by federal stimulus money.

Syracuse Police say the cameras would be used to deter crime and would not be monitored unless there is an open investigation. The camera locations would be as follows:

South Geddes Street at Delaware StreetSouth Geddes Street at Grand AvenueSouth Geddes Street at Gifford StreetGifford Street at Oswego StreetSeymour Street and Oswego StreetShonnard Street and Oswego StreetMerriman Avenue at Oswego StreetGrace Street at Massena Street400 block of Shonnard Street

Other upstate cities like Rochester and Schenectady use similar cameras. Syracuse Common Councilor William Ryan, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, says the cameras could help deter crime in a section of the city where police are confiscating an average of a gun a day.

"The installation of another nine cameras gives us another nine sets of eyes in whatever particular area they are using it," Ryan says.

The Public Safety Committee's meeting is tonight at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.