Cleveland’s High Resolution Cameras Still Going Up, But Already Are Credited Helping To Combat Crime

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The city is just beginning to install high-resolution security cameras along select city streets, but already the cameras are credited with combating crime.

The first of about 1,000 cameras – Phase One of the project, have been installed in Ward 1 in the Lee-Harvard neighborhood and Ward 13 in Old Brooklyn.

Images provided by the cameras helped police solve recent burglaries to businesses in the Lee-Harvard shopping district and a shooting in Kerruish Park, Darnell Brown, Mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of operations, said Wednesday during a meeting of City Council’s Safety Committee.

Brown, Safety Director Michael McGrath, police Chief Calvin Williams, Chief Information and Technology Officer Don Phillips and others appeared before the committee to provide an update on the installation of the cameras and about 61,000 LED street lights.

The combination of the two is expected to help reduce crime. The LED lights provide better illumination, allowing for high-quality images from the cameras.

Some members of council have bristled lately, complaining that they should have more input in where the high-resolution cameras are installed.

Input from members of council is important, Councilman Basheer Jones said, because they generally know their wards best and they often are the go-to person that residents call when they have an issue.

“We are more familiar with the crime in our communities -- the hot spots – than anybody else,” Jones said. “There’s no more embarrassing feeling than when somebody asks you where the cameras are going and you can’t answer.”

For this phase of installation, the cameras are going up around recreation centers and parks and then spreading out to hot spots and busy intersections. The goal is to create safer zones that cover places where people congregate in neighborhoods.

Williams cautioned the council members that while their views would be considered as part of the placement, they won’t get to dictate where the lights go. And 1,000 cameras will not cover the entire city.

"I want a camera in every possible place in the city, whether it is a private camera or one the city has put up,” Williams said.

“That’s a lofty goal,” Williams said. “We have to set the proper expectations.”

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