Dallas Considers More Surveillance Cameras

Police say cameras cut crime

Dallas police say surveillance cameras have been an effective crime-fighting tool that could be used in additional neighborhoods.

Currently, 40 cameras operate in the Dallas Central Business District and 14 are in the Jubilee Park neighborhood of East Dallas near Interstate 30.

Chief David Kunkle said Monday the areas with cameras saw much greater reductions in crime than the citywide average reduction recorded last year. In a briefing to the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee, police reported overall 2008 crime reductions of 22 percent in the Central Business District and 29 percent in Jubilee Park.

The existing cameras were funded with grants and donations, not city money. Those same sources will pay for additional cameras downtown and in Jubilee Park, as well as in Fair Park, Uptown, White Rock Lake Park and on Jefferson Boulevard.

Police also suggested up to 26 crime-prone areas that could benefit from cameras. But more staffing would be needed -- officials said one person cannot effectively monitor more than 25 cameras. The additional 26 locations would also require a new facility for monitoring.

Councilwoman Elba Garcia, who leads the Public Safety Committee, said more grants or donations would be needed to fund additional locations. She said council members want police money and manpower to be used to put more officers on the street answering calls.

The city is adding 200 officers in the current budget.

Councilman Dwayne Caraway said he supports more cameras.

"We're trying to find what works, and once you find something that works, you'll find a way to pay for it," he said.

The committee took no action on the plan Monday.

Here's a link to the briefing and the possible additional camera locations:

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