Community organization wants to install cameras to enhance downtown safety

A community organization is proposing a network of cameras in an effort to bolster safety throughout the area.

The Downtown Community Safety Partnership wants to launch the pilot project.

"It's not the be all, end all. It's not the silver bullet, as the saying goes. But I think it's one piece of the puzzle that hopefully increases safety for everybody," said Greg Burnett, the executive director of the safety partnership.

The project would feature 10 to 20 cameras throughout the downtown core, with Burnett saying the hope is the camera system would deter crime.

However, he does understand constant surveillance could have some folks concerned about their privacy.

"For us, it's going to be important to be transparent, accountable back to the community, what they are being used for and seeing. Again it is a security approach as well, that wellness, health. We know with COVID what we have come through, what we have seen and WE really hope we can have an affect on that and help in a positive way."

Burnett said the conversation around using cameras was being talked about before the pandemic started.

He said the pandemic delayed the project and he noted the organization has had a lot of community support to get this going.

"I think we are ahead of the game and again hopefully we will get something moving soon."

Burnett said his organization wants to get people back downtown and he thinks this project could contribute to that.