The signs are up and wiring is being installed so that a handful of new surveillance cameras can be stationed around New Haven's Chapel West neighborhood.
“There have been concerns over the years around Kensington Square, so as we try to take steps to make residents feel safe, we started to take a community approach," said Erik Johnson, Executive Director of the Livable City Initiative. "Instead of saying, ‘Hey were going to put something in to watch where you go,’ we built this from the neighborhood up."
The city has worked with a number of community partners and property owners on the $100,000 project. The cameras will be installed along Chapel Street, and the video will be sent back to the New Haven Police Department, just like video from other cameras in the city. The hope is to have the cameras running by the end of the year.
“There's a way to catch crimes, sometimes you don't know who does what, and that's a way to figure it out," said Johnson. "But on our side, it's really not so much as a crime catching mechanism, it's kind of that somebody knows you’re watching, that somebody's got your back. We believe in safety and this is the community taking ownership of its neighborhood.”
Pierre Solomon lives in Kensington Square and said he's not sure what impact the cameras will have.
“I think it will be a slight deterrent because it depends on the individual, because if you have very desperate people, they really wouldn't care what's there, and they really wouldn't care who's watching,” said Solomon.
However, he does believe that the cameras are a good addition to the already established neighborhood watch.
“With that, the cameras, as well as the police substation around the corner, I think we'll be really safe over here,” said Solomon.