July 13, 2007
After a series of violent incidents on the downtown mall, the issue of security cameras is back in the forefront. Now, the Downtown Business Association is urging business owners to support the measure.
“I live downtown and I work downtown and I am a little scary about being out after dark now,” said Bob Mical, who works and lives on the mall.
Others have expressed the same concern since hearing about eight unprovoked random attacks on people downtown in as many weeks.
The business community believes this fear can't be good for business and is now taking a stand.
“I think right now is the time to take a proactive stance and take whatever action we can to just try to deal with this situation,” said Co-Chair of The Downtown Business Association Bob Stroh.
That's why Stroh sent an email to members on Thursday saying he considers the attacks to be "Our greatest concern and threat to our continued success”. He encouraged business owners to do what they can to stop the activity. He suggests they lobby city council in favor of cameras on the mall.
“The police have been asking for this for sometime and we feel that now is the right time to go ahead and move forward,” said Stroh.
Most businesses and people we talked to support the police department’s $300,000 proposal to put 30 cameras around the area.
“I believe it is a good deterrent and it helps us find the person after [they] have committed the crime,” said Mary Loose Deviney of Tuel Jewelers.
“If you are in a public environment then you are pretty much consenting to be video taped or photographed,” said Mical.
Police say you'll see extra officers and more patrols, as well as some extra efforts they didn't want to talk about as not to let the criminals in on their plan.
City Council plans on discussing the cameras during their regular meeting on Monday night.