Citizens fueling crime camera push across New Orleans
Posted on July 19, 2013 at 9:12 PM
Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 9:20 PM
NEW ORLEANS -- More and more vigilant citizens across New Orleans are finding ways to fund their own crime cameras.
They're either shelling out their own cash or turning to donors. It's a growing trend fueled by the public seeing criminals get caught.
"The police used the audio footage to help solve a major murder a couple years ago. But the high-definition system that's the key," said Kellie Grengs, pointing to the cameras on her Freret Street property.
Surveillance images continue to capture major crimes across the City like the 7th Ward Mother's Day shooting and a brazen French Quarter robbery where the victim grabbed the shotgun from his attacker.
Many of those same images helped police track down the perpetrators.
"Many of the cameras on the (Freret Street) Corridor have helped the NOPD and the 2nd District tremendously, solving from petty little thefts of a cell phone in the middle of the day to actual shootings," added Grengs.
Businesses along that corridor have already invested in security cameras independently or with help.
Grengs, who helped kick start the Freret Security Project, says now the push is to get property owners on-board. The group was recently awarded a $5,000 grant to make at least 10 new cameras a reality.
"We decided we need to get our neighbors better protection. So not only do our neighbors feel safe in their community, but visitors safe coming and parking a block or two off the corridor," said Grengs.
"In the absence of human eyes, if there's a crime committed, then perhaps we can get a license plate, a face or a person," said Uptown resident Jason Miner, who recently decided to sign up for the Project Nola crime camera program.
"I guess I feel like its not just for our property its for the whole neighborhood and trying to sort of continue to bring the Freret area up," said Miner.
Additional crime cameras are slated for the Irish Channel according to Councilmember LaToya Cantrell's office.
Project Nola says efforts are also underway to get more cameras up in Mid-City along Tulane Avenue; in the West Carrolton area and in Broadmoor near Washington Avenue and South Broad Street. A citizen-charged movement to help curb crime across the Crescent City.
"Trying to find more solutions, be proactive and be part of the community, which I've always been for better or for worse," added Miner.
Project Nola says it has 422 citizen-hosted crime cameras in its video surveillance network. It hopes to increase that number to 600 citywide by the end of the year.