Cameras In High-Crime Areas Will Provide 24-Hour Police Presence

Published: Apr. 7, 2006 at 10:20 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2006 at 9:25 PM EDT
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By Anne Marshall

(LOUISVILLE) -- Two high-crime Louisville neighborhoods are about to get police presence 24 hours a day, but residents shouldn't expect to see LMPD cruisers -- but cameras will be watching. The city has approved $170,000 in funding for suveillance cameras as part of a pilot program. The intersections at 38th and Market and 4th and Oak have been selected as test areas for the cameras. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall reports.

In old Louisville you can even find history in a hair salon. Over the last 25 years Kay Hack, aka "Miss Kay," has perfected the up do while watching a downward spiral. "If you mention let's go to Fourth and Oak and get our hair done, they're scared."

She's not alone. Willy, an employee at a liquor store just around the corner says, "all you got to do is stand out there for fifteen minutes and you see everything going on."

Both say the area is plagued by drugs, purse snatching, public intoxication, fights and prostitution.

Says Hack: "It was a lot better when we had a police officer that worked the beat -- a lot better."

Soon, what's being seen through her windows will be seen through a lens, and a police presence will be back in the neighbrohood.

"It's a piece of evolving technology and we want to take advantage of it, " says Lt. Col. Phillip Turner.

Turner says in September surveillance will be installed around the neighborhood, allowing police to watch the video in real time or go back into an archive after a crime has been reported.

Right now the LMPD is in the bidding process trying to find the right company for the surveillance program.

If the cameras are successful, police hope the city will pay for more so other neighborhoods can benefit.

Police had 31 areas they considered for the pilot program, and narrowed it down based on need.

Says Turner: "the Fourth and Oak has been crimes of violence of streets crimes."

Turner says homocides are the major problem in the area of 38th and Market.

For now, at Fourth and Oak, history makes the neighborhood, but those who've documented the last 25 years hope with others watching they'll see change.

"I'm hoping it does," says Hack.

Willy agrees, but has mixed feelings. "It takes away our civil rights, but if it cuts down on crime I'm all for it."

Online Reporter: Anne Marshall

Online Producer: Michael Dever