Newport follows Norfolk – Installing Surveillance Cameras across city

NEWPORT NEWS – City officials said they hope to begin installing a network of crime surveillance cameras across Newport News by the end of the year, starting in the southeast community.The news comes the same week that Norfolk installed its own system of crime surveillance cameras in the crime-plagued oceanview area. The creation of a surveillance camera network in Newport News follows a recommendation from the Violence Reduction Task Force that met last year and made its report in December. Officials had hoped money could be found for the cameras in February, but financial issues delayed the decision until May 13, when the City Council agreed to spend $400,000 on the system, city spokeswoman Kim Lee said.  “We hope to have them up by the end of the year,” she said. Under an additional $1.6 million package, paid for by reallocating school bus replacement funds, cameras are being placed in all high schools and middle schools. “Installation of the security cameras in our secondary schools is nearly complete. Installation at the last school, Menchville High School, is under way now. Afterwards, the cameras at all schools will be checked to ensure proper operation,” Newport News Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Price said. The city’s system includes crime hot spots and public buildings. The money will allow police to activate seven cameras in the southeast community that are already in place but not yet operational, at a cost of about $61,400. The cameras would be located at 16th and Madison; 19th and Jefferson Avenue; 23rd and Chestnut Avenue; 24th and Marshall Avenue; 33rd and Roanoke Avenue; 36th and Marshall Avenue; and 36th and Madison Avenue. They would be movable and linked to laptop computers, police spokesman Lou Thurston said earlier this year. Lee said the other cameras would be linked to a control room in the former Community Services Board building on Washington Avenue. Cameras also would be placed at City Hall, Doris Miller Community Center and Pool, Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center, Magruder Pool and Lassiter Courts public housing complex. A report to the task force from the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority said the apartment complex in southeast Newport News is prone to a high number of calls about drug selling, trespassing and crimes against persons. The report considered putting cameras in other public housing complexes with high levels of crime, including Aqueduct Apartments in Denbigh, but they are not included in the program. Cameras also might be installed around some public libraries. The task force was set up in reaction to “an unusually violent first half of 2007,” an increase in daytime shootings and the increasing number of males ages 16 to 20 participating in violent crimes.

Macaulay, David (2008, October 11). Officials to have more eyes in the sky. DailyPress.com.  Retrieved on October 13, 2008 from http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_crimecameras_1011oct11,0,3018257.story]]>