Uptown Surveillance Cameras “Oversee” Crime Decrease

Police credit new surveillance cameras for decrease

Dallas police say they've seen a double-digit drop in crime in Uptown since 11 surveillance cameras were installed along McKinney Avenue.

The cameras are just a handful of the more than 112 street corner surveillance systems citywide.

“If you look hard enough, you are going to find something,” Officer Carol Mazzola said.

From the basement of Dallas’ City Hall, she can watch nearly every move that's made along McKinney Avenue.

“See, here’s an ATM machine," she said. "I see a lot of people come and go from there, so I try to watch that."

In the four months since Uptown Dallas went under constant surveillance, crime in the area is down 10 percent year-to-date, according to numbers provided by the Dallas Police Department.

“We’d like to think the cameras had something to do with that,” said Lt. Tony Crawford, who runs the surveillance camera unit.

He said it’s a team effort between the cameras, the officers on the street and citizens who live in the neighborhood.

Dallas Police credit the uptown surveillance cameras with nine arrests and with assisting more than 91 calls since the first of the year.

“I know Uptown doesn't have the best reputation as being really safe,” said Uptown resident Sarah Leininger. “I do feel safer knowing if something does go wrong, there’s a better chance of them knowing who did it.”

With a lens so powerful officers can read the writing on a wall, other neighborhoods, such as Vickery Meadow near Park Lane and Greenville Avenue are coughing up the cash for cameras.

“That at one point was one of the highest crime areas in the city of Dallas, and there's a need there,” Crawford said.

The department is being selective as to which neighborhoods it's willing to watch 24-7.

“We want to place the cameras in high-crime areas, areas that will be the most utilized," Crawford said.

Fair Park was supposed to be installing surveillance cameras, but police said those plans have been put on hold for financial reasons.

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