Modesto hoping additional surveillance cameras helps deter crimes

This is part of the city's Real Time Crime Center which gives them access to 50 live traffic cameras (Sep. 19, 2017)

The city of Modesto is looking to be proactive in different ways to prevent crimes from happening, including the use of additional cameras.

Hamid Alwaraffi is one resident who's had enough of thieves breaking into his Modesto smoke shop.

Just across the street from his business at Carver Road and Teresa Street, next to a park on a light pole, there is an attached camera installed by the Modesto Police Department that may finally give him some relief.

"We need eyes here because [there's] too much violence, too much drug activities and we try to clean it up," said Alwaraffi.

Modesto Police have two other cameras positioned above in high crime areas. But, they also have access to 50 live traffic cameras and live cameras from a pair of security companies.

This is all part of the city's Real Time Crime Center.

Camera footage is shown on 10 monitors where a a city map pinpoints where patrol cars are located, along with calls for services.

The cameras have been in the testing stage for several months.

"We would hope to put them up around the city to be able to first deter criminal activity, but if criminal activity were to take place in those areas to able to capture that and provide real time information to officers that are on patrol in those areas," said Heather Graves, spokesperson for the Modesto Police Department.

This could potentially mean capturing a license from a stolen vehicle, a thief on the run or a violent crime as it happens.

One camera watches over McHenry Avenue near Granger in front of the Budgetel Inn and Suites. Office manager Sofia Nisha says in just one month since the camera has been there, it has made noticeable difference.

"A significant drop. Right. Just people hanging out because if you get them off one side they go on the other," said Nisha.

“We know that we have crime that happens in the city and we want to be able to reduce that. Making those that are out there to enjoy things like that park or walking down McHenry or wherever they’re going," added Graves.

The city plans on purchasing an additional five cameras with police also hoping to partner with private businesses and place cameras at business locations.

This idea is modeled after a similar program introduced in Detroit.

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has also said he is considering the program for his city.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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