Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Crime cameras in Baltimore have proven so effective, the city is installing dozens more. Jessica Kartalija explains.
City crime cameras have been found to reduce crime by as much as 25% in some areas. Now they want to add more cameras in east Baltimore.
From city police headquarters, a team watches as flashing blue light cameras sprinkled throughout the city capture crime as it happens.
“Everywhere you go, there’s a dangerous area regardless of where you go,” said Karen Thornton.
Now police are adding 30 more cameras to city streets.
“It’s a technological shot in the arm for the men and women of the police department so we can make sure we have more eyes in neighborhoods and communities and really busy thoroughfares through the cities,” said Anthony Guglielmi.
The cameras will be strategically placed on North Avenue, Harford and Belair Road above North Avenue toward Clifton Park. In addition to putting the new crime cameras on city streets, the mayor plans to hire 300 additional officers.
“They’re not meant to supplement police officers or replace police officers, but they are a definite tool in helping us keep the community safe,” Guglielmi said.
Additional cameras could help lead police to suspects in cases like the one on Erdman Avenue, where a liquor delivery driver was shot in broad daylight.
“They are great criminal justice tools. They are great tools for the police department again to have eyes and ears in a community,” Guglielmi said.
The closed circuit cameras with high pixel quality will also provide clear evidence in court.
“Just the fact that they have evidence if something happened at this moment in time, they don’t just go by what I said. That’s not enough,” said Esther Obeng.
Last year, Citiwatch participated in more than 1,200 arrests.
The Citiwatch cameras record 24 hours a day from Central Headquarters and five other police locations.