In Dallas Neighborhood, Cameras Credited for Dropping Crime to Almost Nil

Lake Highlands subdivision has seen 80 percent decrease after installation of CCTV

Steve Wakefield, association president in the Woodbridge neighborhood, where crime rates have risen significantly, said his neighbors are being encouraged to report more incidents.

But he's keeping an eye on Richland Park Estates' success.

"A lot of people are taking a kind of wait-and-see attitude, because cameras are a fairly new development," he said. "If the neighborhood can sustain that success for six months to a year, then I think that would be pretty telling."

Butch Davis, president of the Dallas security company that installed Richland Park Estates' cameras, said the proof is at hand. He said the neighborhood's cameras first reduced traffic and trespassing and then provided usable video when needed by investigators.

The results have grabbed attention nationally.

"When you start quoting that kind of success, it gets everybody's attention," he said.

His company, Omni-Watch Systems, should have 10 to 15 surveillance systems operating in North Texas neighborhoods by Labor Day, he said. He says he's also in discussions with several homeowners groups around the country.

Mrs. Mott said the cameras work so well, they may eventually put her out of the crime-watch business.

"I may have to move to a different neighborhood," she said.