T he next time you look up, something may be watching you. More security cameras will soon pop up throughout Syracuse. Just this week Syracuse Common Councilors approved $300,000 to fund the purchase of twelve new cameras through federal grants.
Mayor Stephanie Miner knows how these will benefit the city. "We do it based on the crime statistics that we have, the good news about cameras is that every neighborhood wants them because they have been so successful and we're using our statistics to drive the decisions about where to put them as we expand their use," says Miner.
Patrick Hogan was one of the councilors who voted in favor of these cameras. "I t's necessary to maintain the neighborhoods. We tried this a couple of years ago in the district which I represent on the west side, where they initially put all the cameras up. What it is, we find it's a great deterrent to crime in the neighborhoods," says Hogan.
These cameras also help to solve crime. Two years ago, these security cameras helped to crack a murder case. Syracuse Police used one of the cameras located near South Geddes Street to help them locate and arrest the suspect. Police say this camera was instrumental to their success.
From Butternut Street to the west side of the city, more of these cameras will be monitoring the streets.
Sgt. Patrick Phelps brought the community together to hear their voice as well. "We've talked with the people who live and work in those areas and they've been overwhelmingly supportive of the cameras," says Phelps.
Samuel Evans doesn't feel that these cameras are needed in his community near Butternut Street. "Now we in a nanny state. I mean it's good for some people that's cool, but I don't want to be on camera walking up and down the street. If I go to the store I don't want to be seen," says Evans. "They picking up data on everybody. You can get caught up in something just by walking up the street, something happens now you in the mix."
This feeling is shared by the civil liberties union which calls the cameras an invasion of privacy. They fear as more of these eyes in the sky go up, we'll all be under surveillance whether or not it's justified.