LA to install 125 cameras to fight crimes in housing areas   2010-06-24 11:34:46

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (Xinhua) — Under a 7-million dollar federal stimulus grant, the Los Angeles City will set up 125 “safety cameras” in notorious crime-riddren public housing areas in a bid to better deal with the problem, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

“Safety cameras have proven to be a powerful law enforcement tool to deter crime,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “The expansion of the safety cameras will help assure our police department has the resources it needs to secure our families and communities.”

Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts and Ramona Gardens public housing developments will soon be under video surveillance by the Los Angeles Police Department(LAPD). Some of the cameras will be operational by December, and the rest will be online sometime next year, David Beltran, one of the mayor’s press deputies said.

Jordan Downs, one of the most underserved communities in the City of Los Angeles, is one of the areas that currently has 10 cameras, and the LAPD plans to add another 20 before the end of the year.

Similar surveillance cameras were previously installed in Avalon Gardens, Mar Vista Gardens and Pico Gardens, according to the authorities.

The LAPD officers will monitor the video from all of the cameras. The images will be accessible to the police stations closest to the housing developments, so that officers will be able to respond quickly to emergencies, Beltran said. Some of the high-tech cameras will be equipped with an automatic license plate recognition system.

The preliminary studies recorded a 40 percent reduction in overall crime at Jordan Downs a year after the first batch of cameras were installed in that housing community, Beltran added.

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