The Lafayette Police department prepares for new technology – in the form of surveillance cameras. These camera’s will be placed in neighborhoods. The cameras will be a new angle on community policing for the Hub City. “Officers will have the IP addresses of those cameras and will be able to pull them up and view them. They may not be in that area, but they’ll be able to pull them up and view that street,” adds Chief Jim Craft.
The chief says the Neighborhood Camera Project will be in 52 locations mainly in districts 3 and 4. “That’s what we have to look at. It’s not like we want to short anybody else; but what areas have the most need for that type of project. You got to look where you have the most crime in these districts. They’re at-risk neighborhoods and there is crime in those neighborhoods. We’re there on a regular basis. The cameras will certainly be an added resource for us,” adds Craft.
The chief says the LCG Council approved funding the project in November. Craft is hopeful the cameras will be up by the fall. The estimated cost will be over a $100,000 per year to pay just for the video line feed. “That’s a recurring fee you have to pay that yearly.”
“I use the Mickey Shunick case as a perfect example. Thank God we had video of that truck. That’s what lead to solving that crime,” says Craft.
The chief added police detail for Simcoe and downtown is low on funds. He notes the Simcoe detail is paid through overtime. The downtown detail, Craft says, has already been trimmed. “We’ll see if the administration and the council will give us some additional funds to finish out the year,” says the chief.
Craft anticipates both detail patrol accounts will be depleted by the end of the fiscal budget year which is October 31. The chief calculates the detail for Simcoe will be out of funds by May or June.