More crime cameras appearing around town - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

More crime cameras appearing around town

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Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - More eyes will watch for criminal activity in Indianapolis starting Monday.

The crackdown on crime will involve 20 more security cameras placed in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Already, 21 cameras are positioned mostly throughout downtown. They are called "critical infrastructure cameras" that are used to monitor and protect important buildings such as the Statehouse, Conseco Fieldhouse and Circle Centre Mall. They were funded by a $1 million Homeland Security grant.

The additional 20 cameras going up Monday are called "crime cameras" - placed in high crime neighborhoods outside the downtown. Officers back at the Emergency Management Monitoring Center will be watching specifically for criminal activity.

"I have high expectations for this, but I don't want to sell this as a silver bullet," said Deputy Chief John Ball, Indianapolis Metro Police. "This is one tool in a broader comprehensive crime strategy and it can only be viewed as such. This is one tool in what really has to be a very comprehensive strategy that I know the mayor and [public safety] director [Scott] Newman are putting together."

The new 20 cameras cost about $1 million as well, paid for by bond money. After the cameras are installed, another 16 funded by the first Homeland security grant will go up, making the total number of cameras throughout Indianapolis reach nearly 60.

The will be at least one camera one each side of town. Some of those spots are 56th and Georgetown on the west side, 31st and Park on the near northside, 2800 North Stewart and Washington and Belmont.

Police will reassess the crime every quarter and move the cameras to other neighborhoods that need them.

Officials say they've already seen an impact on crime in downtown Indianapolis because of the cameras. Over a period of less than a year, cameras have captured a drug deal being conducted in front of the federal building at a bus stop. That footage will be used as evidence in a trial.

"I get a close-up view," said Patrolman Kevin Hawk. "We made an arrest with 22 bundles of marijuana, right in front of the courthouse."

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