Violent crime gives some more of an appetite for crime cameras

Violent crime gives more of an appetite for crime cameras

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - From the deadly gunfire that erupted just off Tulane Avenue in Mid-City Tuesday night to armed robberies and other crimes, many New Orleans residents eagerly accept any crime-fighting help they can get.

"Yes they need cameras," said Jessie Mae Holmes.

The Mid-City Neighborhood Organization was already working to help homeowners in crime hot spots pay for cameras.

"Part of the program is they have to register with SafeCam NOLA, which is the city's database of all the cameras in the city," said Bonnie Garrigan, who is running the program for MCNO.

The first phase of the program was open to homeowners throughout Mid-City, but now the second phase focuses on crime-plagued areas. Grants are capped at $365 for camera system. The group is reaching out to local companies to help cover installation expenses for some residents.

Flora Blackstock gleefully showed off a box of persimmons she carried as she walked near Bayou St. John Wednesday. She said instead of security cameras, she would prefer adequate police protection for all.

"So for that reason I wouldn't specifically be interested in protecting my home," Blackstock said.

But dozens of others in Mid-City have seized the crime camera opportunity.

"One of the advantages of that is if our security alarm goes off, we can check instantly to see if anyone is even there or not. It's always a live feed of what's going on," said Stephen MacDonald.

"A lot of the crime is petty, you know, stealing mail off your porch and packages, but sometimes it's not," Garrigan said.

And even if security cameras don't serve as a deterrent to crime, there have been many instances where the footage they capture has helped police crack cases.

"In my case, the investigating officer came to the door with a jump drive and said, 'Can you just download this time and this date?' And we downloaded it for him and he was able to get a positive ID and circulate that around the neighborhood and around the community and help in an arrest," Garrigan said.

For more information on the camera reimbursement program, click here.

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