The Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative (NSI) recently began installing security cameras throughout the Central West End. WUMCRC funded the recorder, security monitors, and necessary computer equipment. WUMCRC Intern Tara Bolen had the opportunity to sit down with James Partee, the Director of the NSI, to discuss the cameras and the continued efforts of the NSI in the Central West End.
Where are the cameras currently located?
“They are located in the North and Cathedral Square taxing districts. Within the next two months there will also be cameras in the South and Southeast taxing districts.”
What are the future goals and plans for the cameras?
“The future plans and goals is to have cameras in all six taxing districts. Our main focus is prevention and apprehension of any criminal activity.”
What will they mean for the area?
“Being able to capture crimes and prevent crimes is a necessary part of our initiative and we want to take advantage of whatever technology will help us make certain that that is happening. These cameras will help prevent and capture any acts in a public area that may have criminal intent.”
Why did the NSI feel it was important to have security cameras?
“We partake in continuous efforts to try to assist the police department in crime fighting techniques. The new security cameras are great tools for crime prevention and follow-up investigations as well as prosecution of criminals. For example, just recently there was a purse snatching in the Central West End. The cameras were able to zoom in on the individual and get an image of the clothing and hair of the suspect along with the license plate of the car. A week later, the suspect was caught in the U City Loop for committing the same crime. If it wasn’t for our new security cameras, we wouldn’t have been able to give a clear description of the suspect.”