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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- Businesses along the Tulane Avenue corridor have battled crime for months.

When the sun goes down, drug dealers and prostitutes emerge, but now businesses are fighting back.

Cameras. It is a simple crime-fighting tool business owners on Tulane Avenue are now using to keep their employees and customers safe.

'When we first started we knew it was going to be an issue, that we had and uphill battle against us and it became immediately apparent that it was going to be more frustrating than we thought it would be,' said Avery's Po-boys owner Justin Pitard.

A year and half ago Pitard took the plunge and decided to take advantage of the untapped potential created by the construction of the new hospital complex.

Still the crime was a huge problem. So he decided to install security cameras as a deterrent, and it is working.

'The quality of the cameras is fantastic, it is just a really good deal,' said Pitard.

'Tulane Avenue can look like Magazine Street or Canal Street and when we started everyone said no that will never happen, but we are already seeing the crime get better with the cameras,' said Mid-City Business Association President Josef Wright.

Because the security cameras have been so successful in fighting crime along Tulane Avenue, the Mid-City Business Association is now working to get several more of these cameras installed throughout the area.

Volunteers of America and the daycare Kid's Kingdom are among four businesses in the Tulane Avenue corridor that have committed to installing cameras as well.

'They couldn't get the cameras in fast enough, a lot of the criminals that were hanging out there are gone,' said Wright.

Just down the street from Avery's Po-Boys is Motel Capri. It recently installed several cameras of its own and already that footage has helped police catch a suspect responsible for robbing a man at gunpoint earlier this month.

Pitard hopes the more cameras there are, the quicker the community will see a revitalized Tulane Avenue.

Ten businesses along the Tulane Avenue corridor currently have security cameras. The Mid-City Business Association says it hopes to see that number increase, including the addition of a camera just for Rocheblave Street.

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