Cameras lend a helping hand

Across the country we hear about dramatic city budget cuts and shrinking city workforces as funds become scarce. In order to manage the steadily increasing workload with fewer employees, cities are taking advantage of surveillance cameras. Strategically placed cameras that can be monitored in real time or after the fact are helping city departments and police officials deter crime and enhance public safety.

Akron uses technology to keep up with record snowfalls—WKYC-TV (Cleveland, Ohio)—2/16/10 

In Akron, Ohio where heavy snowstorms continue, the city snow and ice center is working around-the-clock to make sure roadways are cleared and safe for the public. However, with recent budget cuts the department is operating with 25 percent less workforce and as a result has turned to intersection cameras and road sensors to help plan the most efficient way to route snow plows.  

Greenville News Editorial: Cameras keep downtown safer—The Greenville (S.C) News—2/15/10

When installing 115 cameras throughout the city, it was Greenville’s intention to capitalize on available technology to enhance public safety. The city’s central business district needed more surveillance than the police department had the manpower to provide. Since the cameras were installed there has been a significant reduction in the number of auto break-ins and recorded video footage has led to arrests for acts of vandalism and parking citations.

Cameras may watch downtown Iowa City—Chicago Tribune—2/15/10

Eight cameras have been purchased to surround a popular hang-out for University of Iowa students in an attempt to discourage crime in the area. Outside help has been recruited to assist police and school security officials in keeping an eye on this area of concern. The cameras will be installed, maintained and monitored by a security firm that will notify the police if any incidents or suspicious activity occurs.