ProjectNOLA introduces crime camera fund-raising initiative - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

ProjectNOLA introduces crime camera fund-raising initiative for playgrounds, parks


NEW ORLEANS - ProjectNOLA has introduced a new initiative to get crime cameras into public spaces such as parks and playgrounds.

A group of concerned neighbors are the first to take advantage of the new fund-raising platform in order to try to stop crime around Comiskey Park in Mid-City.

Hundreds of kids play, exercise and take care of Comiskey park, but some are worried they're threatened by criminals who patrol the area.

"Lately, there has been some armed robberies across the street on Jeff Davis, and also the booster club raised quite a bit of money for uniforms and things like that, and this building was broken into and everything was stolen, so they had to start all over again," said Josef Wright of the Mid-City Business Association.

"The park has had a history of some criminal problems. There's been a history of some drug dealing here in the park," said Graham Bosworth of the Mid-City Neighborhood Association.

"So the first thing we're looking to do," said Wright, "we're looking to secure the park."

Wright is rallying the neighborhood to protect this area by putting up crime cameras.

"We're going to ring the park with cameras," said Wright. "We're going to put them on the back of some businesses, we're going to put them on some of the businesses that are a little farther away so we have a wide angle."

In all, Wright wants 12 cameras, which adds up to $5,500. It's a price he doesn't expect any one person to pay for, so he's tapping into a new program created by ProjectNOLA.

"We've created a platform where people can very easily create their own fund-raiser to get cameras in their neighborhood, around their park, or around a particular playground," said Bryan Lagarde of ProjectNOLA.

It's a crowd sourcing website, so anyone hoping to give children the opportunity to play and exercise in a safer environment can contribute to the cameras.

"I've been here on the weekends, and I've been the only person here with my daughter," said Bosworth. "It would be nice to see the neighborhood know that it's here, feel comfortable coming here and have events like this on a daily basis or at least on the weekends."

"That's the No. 1 one thing is that families feel safe to come out, and if cameras help families feel safe then that's great," said Eric Kugler, project leader for YLC Kicks, a soccer organization that utilizes Comiskey Park.

Kugler and the other neighbors hope it'll create an environment where more kids can kick around the soccer ball. In turn, Wright hopes the vibrant activity will attract new families and businesses to Mid-City.

"You know, we're right on the edge of Tulane Avenue, and a lot of businesses want to come in here, but they have to feel like the crime is getting better before they do that," said Wright.

To learn more about the Comiskey Park fundraiser, click here.

To learn how to set up your own fundraiser, contact ProjectNOLA here.

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