Over the next couple of years, crime cameras may be the norm in several neighborhoods throughout the city of Lafayette. But first, the Lafayette Police Department must get the funding approved by the Lafayette Consolidated Government. They’re asking for around $700,000.
Police Chief Jim Craft says it would be an extra set of eyes and allow officers to monitor activity from their laptops.
“The installation of those cameras would aid the police in solving crime and maybe preventing crime. And so, it’s sort of a force multiplier,” said Craft.
While many businesses already have their own cameras, the real target is high crime areas where officers are patrolling the most.
“Precincts one, which is the University, I-10 area and the Moss Street area off Evangeline Thruway, the neighborhoods around there,” said Craft.
Craft says surveillance video has helped solve many homicides, assaults, and theft cases over the years. And perhaps one of the biggest reminders of the importance of surveillance video is the cameras at the LCG building. When Lafayette woman Mickey Shunick went missing in 2012, it was a race against time to figure out what happened. Hardly any leads turned up, until surveillance video located at LCG surfaced.
“Had it not been for the video, we may still be working the Mickey Shunick case,” said Craft.
LPD is looking into installing between 40 and 50 crime cameras. If the council passes the budget, the surveillance cameras are expected to be in place by 2016.