The City of Waterbury is turning to technology in an effort to crack down on crime.
On Monday night, leaders unanimously voted to install 11 surveillance cameras on rooftops across the downtown area. They could be installed as early as mid-April.
“I think they’re needed, it makes me feel safer,” said Corinne DeSantis, who owns a business downtown.. “People break windows or they urinate in front of businesses at night.”
The owner of a Subway restaurant on Grand St. hopes that the city will see results after the cameras are installed. One of the windows in his business was shattered during an act of vandalism.
“It’s frustrating because we have enough to worry about,” said Atiqur Khan.
Khan said if the culprit came back, the city’s cameras might help Waterbury Police track them down.
“Otherwise what’s the choice? We have no other choice,” Khan explained.
Waterbury Police plan to monitor the cameras. If something happens, officers will rewind the video and try to track down whoever committed the crime.
“We could go back and see what happened. It’s good for homeland security purposes as well,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary.
Mayor O’Leary said there was some concern the city was going overboard and the cameras might be too intrusive but he disagreed.
“Every modern city in the U.S. has some sort of camera coverage downtown,” he added.
The goal of the camera coverage in Waterbury is to teach criminals that downtown is the wrong place to be and to attract the right crowd to this area.
“I think it will be more inviting,” said Corinne DeSantis.
The cameras cost roughly $200,000. Officials say a grant will cover some of the cost and drug money recovered from local police will pay for the rest.