Police Camera Installed in Old Everett Neighborhood

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

The residents in Old Everett Neighborhood petitioned the mayor, city council, and Lansing police to install a surveillance camera in their community.

"Most people stay indoors, you're afraid to come and go at night," said Marilyn Ellis, a member of the Neighborhood Watch and Old Everett Neighborhood Association.

Police said the area near Legrand and Walton Streets was a primary location for a camera. Even though the residents requested it, receiving one all boils down to data. Cameras are installed only where they're needed most because of crime.

"It's like the proverbial added tool to the police tool box," said Lansing Police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt. "It's the eyes in the sky. It can give you intelligence for if you're responding to a call, dispatch can go to that camera and give you a little heads up on what's going on."

The 33 current cameras can also go anywhere once they've done their job in a community. The mayor's office is a proponent of that, and played a big role in getting Old Everett's camera.

"You're able to calm down a neighborhood, and then, eventually move that to another neighborhood, so they are mobile, they're designed that way," said Lansing Coordinator of Community Outreach Joe McDonald. "And so once we get a hold of a neighborhood, then we can move it to another location."

But not everyone wants a camera in their backyard. Some residents in the Knollwood-Willow neighborhood have had a camera for years - since the original installation - and they feel like they're not seeing results.

"It's a waste of the taxpayers dollars, and it's a waste of the police time, they're not prosecuting anybody, they're not even taking care of this area with the cameras, and you see them right there, and these activities still go on here daily," said Walter Brown, president of the Knollwood-Willow Neighborhood Association.

Brown is also concerned the cameras are an invasion of privacy. He said the one at the intersection of Knollwood and Willow Streets has alienated people in the community.

Police said the cameras are helpful, and only used for right reasons.

"Our policy is that it's not used to look into windows or to look into people's private life, it's to help deter crime, as well as help police solve crime," Merritt said.

That's what residents in Old Everett Neighborhood wanted.

"I think it's going to give a comfort level to all of us," Ellis said.

The new camera is installed, and it will be turned on next week after it's fully connected to Lansing police dispatch.

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