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More police cameras coming to Syracuse's Northside

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler discusses the locations of new police cameras.

More police cameras are heading to crime-ridden Syracuse neighborhoods, spreading into more areas on the city’s Northside.

Patricia Simmons is pastor of a church in the Washington Square neighborhood of Syracuse. She’s happy the crime-deterring cameras are coming.

"Our church is on the corner of Park and Turtle,” Simmons said. “Outside our door we see prostitution, we see drug activities happen. If we have a big event, the folks come out to solicit and I think the cameras would also help to alleviate some of that.” 

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (right), stands behind the podium next to two displays showing where new police cameras will be installed.

These will be the latest of dozens of cameras already installed in several city neighborhoods, an initiative that started more than three years ago.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says the cameras work, both to deter crime and to help police solve cases.   

“It gives us a greater opportunity to catch those, the perpetrators, more in advance because the cameras are here to deter that from happening,” Fowler said.

And he says neighborhoods want them.

“This is not the only neighborhood that has come to me about cameras,” Fowler explained. “And I want to assure those who have spoken to me about cameras in the past that I’m working equally as hard, along with the mayor, to make sure cameras come to their neighborhoods, as well, because I agree with them. These are effective crime-fighting tools.” 

An almost $225,000 state grant will pay for 16 cameras in two areas, in the Washington Square and Hawley-Green neighborhoods. 

Fowler says these cameras will help fight some of the biggest problems these two neighborhoods face.

"The loitering, the gambling, the drug dealing. Prostitution,” Fowler said. “And it’s not only quality of life crime. There are a lot of other things that we can capture, the most serious crimes, like burglaries and robbery. These cameras prevent those types of crimes as well.” 

Another five cameras will be installed along Park Street towards Butternut, thanks to some federal funds. The cameras should be up in six months.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.