Security Cameras Will Go Up With or Without Council Nod

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says no matter what, 10 surveillance cameras will be going up in neighborhoods with crime problems within the next 30 days.

"We have hot spots in Lansing," Bernero says. "We have areas with a lot of crime and cameras would absolutely work as a deterrent."

But concerns over how the city will pay for the cameras and how exactly they'll be used have some councilmembers buzzing.

"Technology is good, but I want to make sure the police are using the technology they have before we add onto it," says councilwoman Carol Wood.

Bernero wants the $350,000 for the cameras to come from a loan city council would have to approve. If they don't approve it, the mayor says he'll take the money from the city's budget.

Bernero admits there's no firm policy in place on how the cameras will be used, but this is not something, he says, he's backing off. He feels strongly that cameras will bring crime down even further.

"Public safety is my top priority," Bernero says. "There's no question we're going forward with this. The question is how council will decide to pay for this."

"I'm still a proponent that we need more officers out there doing their jobs," says Wood.

Just like the debate at city hall, people in the Genessee neighborhood are divided, too, over whether the cameras are a good idea.

"Anything that's going to help get crime off these streets, I'm fully in support of," says Brady Foreman, who lives in that neighborhood, which has seen its share of crime this year.

Another neighbor, who doesn't want her identity revealed, disagrees.

"I'd rather see them spend the money on police," she says.

Regardless, it seems community watch will be taking on a more literal meaning in the next few weeks.


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