Fort Worth police have started installing 35 surveillance cameras in the east side Stop Six neighborhood that they say will “cast a wider net” in their crime fighting efforts there.
“We knew that we needed more than human eyes on crime so that we could catch the bad guys as fast as we could,” Councilwoman Gyna Bivens said Thursday during a press conference.
“There are not enough cameras to meet the requests that we’ve had. People who live in Stop Six are accustomed to hearing gun shots, sirens and all types of sounds that indicate something bad is going on. I have yet to talk anyone who has spoken against these things being installed.”
The cameras are being installed as part of the city’s $2.56 million year-long revitalization of Stop Six and Caville Place. The city plans to select another area of the city for a similar program later this year.
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In all, 60 cameras were bought for the east side patrol division, and about eight are already up, including five in Stop Six, said East Patrol Division Capt. Michael Shedd. The cameras are installed on city-owned utility poles, he said.
They’re already doing what they’re supposed to, Shedd said. Last week, they helped officers make a felony drug arrest on Ramey Avenue, he said.
The cameras, which are used citywide, cost about $5,000 each. They’re monitored by the police department’s electronic surveillance unit. Patrol officers have real-time access to the cameras through an app on their cell phones, Shedd said.
The cameras are just part of a Stop Six revitalization project, which began in December. The city has been tearing down dilapidated structures, building sidewalks, improving street lighting, removing brush and overgrown weeds, and pushing some economic development efforts, among other things.
Shedd said some the cameras will be noticeable and some will not. But that’s OK, he said, because police want Stop Six residents to feel safe.
“At this point, we’d rather capture people doing bad things,” Shedd said. “You’ll be able to see a licen se plate on a car from a great distance with these cameras. The quality is that high.”