The Union Recorder

Local News

July 17, 2014

Police consider downtown security surveillance

MILLEDGEVILLE — Camera surveillance for downtown Milledgeville may be a project in the works for the near future.

In an effort to increase safety on city streets and reduce the presence of crime downtown, Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord has made a proposal to City Council to have camera surveillance installed in approximately 10 strategic locations.

He pitched the idea to city officials four years ago and hopes it will soon become a reality.

"We're still talking to different vendors and there are some hurdles that we have to overcome, but my hopes are that we can award a bid this year and go ahead and get started on it," he said.

There are several benefits to security camera surveillance downtown, according to Swicord.

For starters, security surveillance would provide instant video for officers as situations occur.

"The vendors we're speaking with as of now have shown us that live video from downtown can be live streamed directly to officers no matter where they are situated."

He added that the live streaming capability can produce faster response time for police and help deter potential crimes.

Camera surveillance would also assist officers in accident detection.

"For instance, if a wreck took place or a pedestrian was involved in a hit and run, we'd have video of the incident that could help us in pinpointing what exactly happened," he said.

Potential surveillance cameras would come equipped with face recognition software along with HD quality recording for collection of evidence in criminal activity downtown.

Swicord said this is not a project created to monitor citizens but to protect them and assist in solving crimes that occur in the downtown vicinity.

Cameras would only record when motion is present and activity is saved on a DVR system.

Swicord also pointed out that security surveillance is a common measure of crime detection by law enforcement officials.

"It's not a new concept, just an additional tool used to detect crime," he said. "It's been around for a long time, and you can find it in almost all the big cities."

A project of this magnitude will not happen overnight, said Swicord, but he said he feels the ball has finally started rolling.

"My main objective, whether it be downtown or anywhere in the city, is for residents to be safe."

 

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