Camera

A worker from Mississippi Communication Services installs a camera Tuesday. The camera is pointed at the Howard Street underpass near U.S. 82.

The city of Greenwood is moving forward with the installation of security cameras throughout town to deter criminal activity.

On Tuesday, workers from Mississippi Communication Services of Carrollton installed a camera on a wooden pole along the U.S. 82 frontage road.

The camera, now live, is pointed at the Howard Street underpass to deter criminal activity, particularly the dumping of trash and old tires.

Randy Clark of Mississippi Communication Services stood by while workers installed the camera. He said the camera on the frontage road was one of five that have been installed throughout the city. The intense rainfall from last month halted their progress, he said.

“We’ve had a good success rate so far,” Clark said.

Mayor Carolyn McAdams told the City Council on Tuesday that the city had already given three citations for littering because of the cameras.

“This is going to be a great investment going forward,” she said.

Eight more cameras are to be installed throughout town. Following the end of this year, McAdams would like to install six additional cameras each year.

The camera feeds are sent to the Police Department’s dispatch room, where dispatchers can watch the scenes and send an officer if necessary.

The mayor said the cameras can be moved from place to place in other high-crime areas if needed.

Ward 1’s Johnny Jennings said he was a bit ambivalent about the benefits of the cameras.

“If we give those citations, I hope our judge is collecting on it,” Jennings said.

He was referring to the high number of back fines issued to those found guilty in Greenwood Municipal Court.

Almost $2.8 million was owed to the city prior to Greenwood offering an amnesty period to allow people to pay back fines without being charged with an additional fine.

The process for Greenwood’s surveillance cameras began in late January, when Mississippi Communication Services installed wireless equipment and a camera atop a tower along Howard Street, owned by the Greenwood Housing Authority. The Howard Street tower sends signals to all the other cameras throughout town to operate them.

The council approved a wireless surveillance system in August for the price of $59,000.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

(1) comment

fasites

As a native I can see the skepticism people have over these cameras. My perspective, however, is different. I live in a prominent city where cameras are everywhere, not just city cameras but personal- and business-owned ones as well. The cameras capture hit-and-runs, package thieves, break-ins, robberies, assaults, cougars sleeping on couches, you name it. While the perps aren't always caught, there's a way better chance they will be than if there weren't any cameras. The installation of cameras in Greenwood shows the city is taking crime and accountability seriously. People who can't appreciate that are the reasons why Greenwood has been in the gutter for at least 40 years. Yes, it's expensive but newsflash, folks: nothing is free. If people want this town to get better, it will cost something. Everyone knows Greenwood needs many improvements, and it will take incremental steps, including this. People need to get over their "we don't need no change" attitude.

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