CHICAGO (CBS) — Neighbors, business owners, and community leaders on Chicago’s West Side are joining forces – pushing for more resources to keep their streets safe.
With the Chicago Police Department facing a shortage of officers, the neighbors and business owners are asking for an additional 100 cameras to fill the void. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar dug into the plan.
Last year, surveillance cameras captured a shooting on Lake Street at Kostner Avenue in West Garfield Park. The cameras mounted outside Gary Maus’ Paul Davis restoration business caught thieves hopping the fence, breaking into his trucks, and cutting catalytic converters.
“We’re trying to get additional security cameras implemented,” Maus said.
Maus is among those who work and live on the West Side who are calling for the city to install 100 additional cameras.
“It’s well-documented that the presence of these cameras ultimately leads to improved police presence; monitoring,” he said. “I think it could absolutely be a potential deterrent.”
Lucius Merriweather also works and lives in Garfield Park.
“Cars get broken into and all that stuff,” he said.
On Thursday night. Merriweather attended an online Harrison (11th) District Chicago Police beat meeting – where several residents pushed for an additional 100 city POD cameras. Leading the charge is Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Fulton Market Association.
“What we’re hoping can happen as soon as possible is the community comes together – 100 spots, as a way to help our understaffed police officers prevent crime and then identify crime,” Romanelli said.
Romanelli pointed to Tax Increment Financing funds – or TIF money – to fund the eyes in the sky. He suggests the cameras should be installed in known problem areas on the West Side.
The residents and business owners see the cameras as a potential tool to keep business owners like Maus safe.
“I think a low-cost, easy solution is the use of technology – and that’s the video cameras,” Maus said.
During the meeting, the Harrison District Chicago Police officer leading the call said the commander of the district is well aware of the community’s desire for more cameras.