More than 100 additional cameras, most of them aimed at curbing crime in and around downtown Atlanta, will go online soon, after the City Council voted yesterday to spend $2.25 million to beef up surveillance throughout the city, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The cameras are part of an effort to address a crime problem that could threaten Atlanta's tourism and business growth, while intimidating students who attend college downtown. Students have been victims of countless robberies, burglaries, and assaults.
By most accounts, crime is down. At its current pace, the city will have fewer than 100 homicides for the fourth year in a row, and major felonies are down 5 percent this year and 16 percent since 2009. With the addition of 112 new cameras, there are 762 cameras that being constantly monitored. “Mayor Reed has made public safety his No. 1 priority, and this is the next generation tool for crime fighting in the city of Atlanta,” said chief operating officer Duriya Farooqui. “Repeat offenders will not find a haven as easily with a surveillance network covering the city's dense commercial and residential corridors to keep them crime free and safe for tourists, businesses and residents.” Funded by grants and supported by the Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta's video integration hopes to replicate what other cities are doing to fight crime.