BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Six years ago, surveillance video in the city started as an experiment to cut crime. But a new study shows it’s working in Baltimore.

Gigi Barnett explains why.

Each computer inside Baltimore’s hidden Citiwatch surveillance room is connected to a camera outside. Since 2005, they’ve been the city’s eye in the sky, and a new study released this week shows crime cameras work.

“It’s nice to have a national study by an independent entity that demonstrates that the cameras, particularly being actively monitored, have an impact on reducing crime,” said Sheryl Goldstein.

Goldstein runs the mayor’s office on criminal justice. She says the Urban Institute’s report also found that the cameras save money by reducing crime, so there’s a plan to install more.

“Our next project is to install about 30 new crime cameras in Northeast Baltimore,” Goldstein said.

But some residents say the city’s 500 camera system can’t replace human eyes and ears.

“I think that when I see the police, I feel safer,” said Cali Fitzgerald. “Sometimes they’ll sit around here.”

The study also looked at crime cameras in Chicago and Washington, D.C. and found that the more visible they are, the better.

“People know where they are and know that they’re out in public spaces, being watched,” Goldstein said.

The study also found that four months after the city installed surveillance cameras in downtown Baltimore, illegal activity here dropped by 25 percent.

The crime cameras didn’t work so well in all cities. In Washington, D.C., there was no significant drop in crime because of surveillance cameras.

Comments (4)
  1. Alan says:

    So the headline is incorrect. The study does not prove that crime cameras work. The study proves that people in Baltimore respond differently to surveillance that people in Washington.

  2. What? says:

    My husband is a retired Baltimore City Police Lt. One night on the midnight shift, city watch called out a shooting in progress. My husband and his shift apprehended the suspect, locked him up, and handed a slam dunk case to the Baltimore City States Attorney. Rather than praise him and his shift for a job well done, his Deputy Major reamed his ass for why the shooting happened in the 1st place. That’s what your officers deal with on a nightly basis. Officers cannot be everywhere all the time, and they sure are not going to stop shootings. In this case though, the city watch cameras helped the officers catch the thug and lock him up.

    1. Jonathan Chiles says:

      WHAT? <<< That would be considered Miss Management and that happens quite a lot when people are promoted to positions they have not earned or been prepared for. Everyone always says the S*** rolls downhill. But it only does that when a boss doesn't know their job or their people. I feel sorry for your husband by the fact he has to deal with such worthless leadership. And thank him for risking his life for finding the assailant.

  3. stationnorth says:

    The reason the crime cameras work in Baltimore and not Washington is due to the fact that criminal thug wannabes in Baltimore are dumb as sh!t.

    Also in Baltimore, if you get caught, you get off scott free or do so little time that it doesn’t mattere.

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