More police cameras being added to Syracuse's north side

Aug 8, 2013

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has announced that more police cameras will be going up in a part of the city's north side that has seen some high profile crime recently. The Syracuse Police Department will add seven cameras to the two currently tracking crime on Butternut Street. She says residents asked for more cameras, including Pond Street businessman Jai Suvedi, who says the current cameras have made a difference.

"So as we see Butternut Street between now and before, is totally changed, in this corridor," Suvedi said. "A lot of the crimes have decreased."

Miner says the cameras work, citing a near west side neighborhood that's seen a marked decrease in burglaries and drug and weapons crimes since cameras were installed. Suvedi adds that this is an important thoroughfare to keep crime free.

"A lot of people work and walk on this street because they do not have a car," Suvedi said. "And they go to school, the refugees, the immigrants, and we need safety."

But not everyone agrees with the move. David Gay, a north side resident who is also running for Common Council, held a sign criticizing the move during a news conference. He says cameras just push crime from one part of the city to another.

"What I've [seen], living in this neighborhood from the time those camera's have gone up, is that crime just out of camera shot has been devastating to the neighborhoods," Gay said.

Gay noted two murders within a few days of each other earlier this summer just off Butternut Street.

"Nobody wants to commit a crime where they can be seen, so they move to where they can't be seen," Gay said. "You turn on a light and the roaches scatter."

Police statistics show what Miner calls a significant reduction in crime in that neighborhood. These new cameras also dovetail with the crackdown on corner stores, which officials say are magnets for crime in the city.

The cameras were funded through a $100,000 state grant secured by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli.