Baltimore City Says Police Cameras Reduce Crime, Help In Making Arrests

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore City says crime drops by 25 percent in areas covered by police cameras. Now, more community groups are asking for them.

Mike Schuh met up with the mayor as she installed the latest batch.

Police camera video shows the gun in a guy’s hand.

“You can see the gun– a .38 caliber revolver– in his left hand,” Frederick Bealefeld, commissioner of the Baltimore City Police Department, said.

The police commissioner is showing other cities how useful cameras are here. Moments later, the running man is shot and the camera operator radios police on the ground. Within a minute, the officer in this car pulls over and arrests the suspects.

Likewise, police say their cameras helped in the arrests of those who, last month, gave a tourist a beating.

Now, in East Baltimore, cameras are taking pictures of the installation of the newest police camera on Harford Road.

“They make the residents feel safer, they build confidence in the city’s commitment to fight crime in their neighborhoods,” Bealefeld said.

“In the areas where we have crime cameras, crime is down 25 percent,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

About a block away are the unofficial mayors of Homestead Street who’ve lived here for a combined 93 years.

The cameras’ effect?

“Less break-ins, less hold-ups, less gun violence,” explained Beverly Brown, who lives on Homestead Street.

If they’re successful and crime drops anywhere near 25 percent, then businesses may feel comfortable moving back to that part of Harford Road.

“One step at a time,” Mark Washington of the Montebello Community Corp. said.

With Wednesday’s installation, it brings the total number of police cameras in the City of Baltimore to 583.

The cost of these cameras was paid for with state and federal grant money.

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