6th District gets high tech help in crime fight

6th District gets high tech help in crime fight

New Orleans police officers in the Sixth District get some high tech assistance in crime hotspots.

On Thursday, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison announced that 38 security cameras have been installed in the area that includes Central City.

"This is just another initiative to put in our tool box to help, to be smart about the way we fight crime, the way we catch criminals, and the way we prevent crimes, because when criminals see these cameras they're likely to think twice about committing a crime," Harrison said.

"The officers themselves helped us recruit businesses, churches, private residences, and the response was overwhelming," said Melanie Talia, Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation.

As part of the new initiative, New Hope Baptist Church on Lasalle Street agreed to install cameras on some of the church's buildings. The church's late pastor, the Rev. John Raphael, worked tirelessly for years to stop the violence. He spearheaded the "Thou Shall Not Kill" sign movement.

The cameras scatted around Central City are linked to the SafeCam NOLA initiative. The chief said with the help of donations from the Millennial Spirits of NOLA, a group working to improve the city, 38 cameras were installed.

"Funds are donated, put through the Police Foundation and we were able to buy something that's going to benefit neighborhoods that can't buy those cameras," Harrison said.

"I started working with detectives in the Eighth District four years ago, retrieving videos, processing them and putting them on YouTube," said Larry Lane.

Lane, a resident of the French Quarter, co-founded SafeCam 8 which grew into the citywide SafeCam NOLA.

"In every location there is a recorder, so the detectives can go and access it," Lane stated.

The cameras are a way for every day citizens to assist with the ongoing battle against crime in this city and it's hoped that more people will get involved.

"They have ownership in the process, they're playing a role, they're actually contributing to the success of crime reduction," Harrison said.

He said there are myriad examples of how security camera footage has paid off in terms of helping police nab criminals.

Lane said citywide there are more than 2,500 security cameras tied in to the SafeCam NOLA program.

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