Cameras Look To Deter Assaults In Watertown
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
March 28, 2012 10:20 PM
Police in Watertown will have an extra set of eyes working for them in the uptown area. Seven cameras have been put up over the last week in attempt to keep the city safer.
The new sets of eyes are located throughout the uptown area in Watertown, a part of the city that has a number of bars.
“We've increased the lighting in the area, increased our presence with patrol cars through the area, and this is one of the final steps. Just to deter criminal behavior in the uptown area,” said Detective Sergeant Tim Toomey of the Watertown Police Department.
Police went around town informing people and businesses of the extra surveillance last week.
“It's being overwhelmingly accepted. We all want a safe place to visit. The cameras aren't to make arrests. They're to deter criminal behavior. To make sure people know that, if they commit a crime, they could be captured on video tape,” said Toomey.
But not every business in uptown Watertown is excited about the new video cameras.
One bar owner said, “the cameras are an invasion of privacy and would deter business.”
The bar owner also said, “we're trying to pay more taxes but the city is beating us up.”
Police say that between 2009 and 2011 over 30% of assaults in Watertown happened in the uptown area.
“We want to make Watertown a safe place to live, work, raise a family, and for visitors to come. That's why we put the cameras in,” said Toomey.
The bar owner wonders about the remaining 70% of assaults and wonders why cameras are only being placed around his and neighboring bars.
Police say they won't be continuously monitoring the cameras and only will use them for preventing and investigating crimes.
“In the event something does happen, it gives us a great tool for investigative purposes,” said Toomey.
Signs will be up throughout Watertown informing people about the video cameras by the end of the week.
Watertown police say 83 assaults happened in the uptown area between 2009 and 2011.