French Quarter group helping NOPD with crime cameras

Published: Jul. 29, 2013 at 2:41 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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New Orleans -- Surveillance cameras are becoming more and more popular in the City of New Orleans as residents try to protect themselves against crime. One group is playing a critical role in getting those cameras up and helping the NOPD utilize them.

Looking at a video taken from a surveillance camera, Larry Lane is tracking the movements of a man wanted for breaking into a French Quarter home last week. Images of the man were captured on surveillance cameras on several different homes in the block.

Lane and Bob Simms help police access this type of footage. Last year the duo formed a group whose aim is to improve the NOPD's creating a comprehensive list of all residents in the department's 8th district, who own cameras. Lane explains, "The idea is to improve the turnaround time from when the crime actually happens and when NOPD can get the information out to the public."

Simms and Lane also work closely with residents who want to put up new cameras. "We sort of give them some guidance on what they can do, if they don't have anybody to help them install it we use a handyman who works with us and comes with us and we go install them," Simms said.

Just a few days ago, the men installed some cameras of their own on Frenchmen Street after residents complained about break-ins. Instead of waiting for the homeowners to purchase new systems, Simms and Lane sprung into action. Their cameras recorded a video, which was sent to us by the NOPD and shows two men running from a home with a duffle bag and Mac book on Frenchmen last Monday. The search is on for the suspects.

Simms explains, "If you talk to the detectives at the 8th District they'll tell you a big percentage of their crimes are being solved by the use of videos."

Simms and Lane also helped install cameras on Mandeville Street in the Marigny....cameras that police are hoping will show the shooting of a 14-year-old boy early Friday morning. A city employee was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder.

In all, about 1200 cameras dot the 8th District. They're cameras that Bob Simms and Larry Lane hope will deter crime and if not, help to solve those cases.

The men behind SafeCams8 don't charge anything for the advice and help they provide to residents and businesses in the 8th district although their professional installer does charge a fee.