Surveillance camera footage is being used more and more by law enforcement agencies to help solve crimes. Now, officials in St. Bernard Parish hope residents there will take part in a new program, that will hopefully yield the same results.
Christian Delosryes says his Mereaux neighborhood is pretty safe so he's never thought about buying surveillance cameras for his home. But the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office wants people like Delosryes and others to reconsider. Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann says, "I think the more cameras out there, the more successful the program will be."
The sheriff's office is teaming up with ProjectNola, a crime camera program. Residents can purchase cameras, and then for a $10 monthly fee, have their footage tied in to the ProjectNola and sheriff's office system.
Pohlmann says as opposed to detectives going door to door to find surveillance footage after a crime has occurred, it'll be a huge advantage to have footage at his detectives fingertips immediately. "All you have to do is, you can go to a map and click on an icon for that camera in that area and pull up that camera and it'll give us a live feed from that area," explained Pohlmann.
The idea sounds good to Delosryes who says, "I would consider it. Whatever helps keep law and order."
But Delosryes worries about too much "big brother" oversight. "I'm all for it if it's all for the good, but things do get abused," said Delosryes.
Pohlmann responds, "We're not gonna sit there and monitor it unless something happens in that area or we have reports of suspicious activity going on in that area."
This is the latest expansion for ProjectNola. Right now, more than one thousand locations across New Orleans have cameras tied in to the system and even areas on the west bank like Westwego have cameras monitored by the group. Pohlmann has high hopes for the program in St. Bernard and strongly urges residents to sign up, and help his deputies keep the parish safe.
Residents who are interested can purchase their own surveillance cameras and have them installed before tying in to the ProjectNola system or they can buy cameras from ProjectNola directly.