Colorado

Jan 26, 2014 11:39 PM by Maddie Garrett

Are surveillance cameras in downtown Colorado Springs working?

For almost two years, surveillance cameras have been keeping a watchful eye on downtown Colorado Springs.

While some call it "big brother", Colorado Springs police say the surveillance system helps them catch criminals.

CSPD Commander Pat Rigdon says it's amazing the things people do downtown and think goes undetected. "Each camera has a sign under that notifies the public that the cameras are in use," Rigdon said.

And if the cameras aren't enough, volunteers put in over 1,000 hours last year assisting officers in the downtown area fight crime. Volunteers watch what's happening on the streets, and then let officers known what's going on and where to go.

Commander Rigdon says the police department has made well over a dozen felony narcotics arrests, which can be attributed to the surveillance cameras.

For the most part, the consensus is that people downtown like the cameras. Kyle Allee is one of them, who thinks the surveillance cameras are a good idea.

"It will help us keep track of people who are intoxicated...who are also potentially doing drug deals, or if anybody were to get hit in the intersections...it'll actually help out," Allee said.

However others, like Bobbie Peterson say the cameras don't catch everything. Peterson said the surveillance system didn't catch a mugging that happened down the street from her shop a few months ago.

"Somebody broke our front window a few weeks ago, like right after the new year, half of it was all busted out and there was no cameras that caught that either," Peterson said.

Peterson still supports the cameras, even thought they haven't helped her case in particular. "I'm sure there's too much down here for the cops to catch everything of course," Peterson said.

All in all, with only 10 cameras, there's only so much that Colorado Springs police can catch using the surveillance system. The department hopes to focus on "high risk" areas and make downtown a much safer place to be.

"It's really been a success in my mind so far, the volunteers though have really been a big part of that," Rigdon said.

The surveillance system initially cost the city of Colorado Springs $183,000 dollars in 2012. The Downtown Development Authority paid for the first three years of maintenance.

 

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