Police are installing more cameras on the streets of Syracuse. The addition is part of a program they say has already cut crime, and in neighborhoods that need it the most.
The dark red shapes on the police map of Syracuse show where showers of bullets fly. Nineteen new cameras, paid for with federal and state grants, will now occupy the areas on this map with the most guns fired.
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says certain crimes have dropped as much as 25 percent in the Westside neighborhood where cameras have recorded street activity since spring of 2011.
"There's no doubt in my mind that these cameras work. The numbers speak for themselves, and I've seen it,” said Fowler. “The cameras have helped solve [everything from] a murder right down to a very lengthy drug investigation."
Fowler says residents want the cameras, which seem to be most effective in decreasing drug activity, and he expects he'll ask for more in the future.
“As long as shots are being fired, and crimes are being committed, and we can find grant money to pay for these cameras, then I’m going to continue to ask the public if it’s something they’re interested in,” he said. “And if they say yes, then I’m going to continue to petition council to see if we can expand this project.”
Fowler says that these cameras are part of the future of cities in New York state and in the United States.
"If you go to any major city, Rochester, Buffalo, Schenectady, New York City, there's cameras everywhere right in New York state,” Fowler said. “This is the direction our country is going in. This is another way to keep the public safe."