PLANNED POLICE CAMERA LOCATIONS
100 W. 38th St.
200 W. 38th St.
200 Water St.
Intersection of Windsor and Arlington streets
2300 Glass St.
Intersection of Wilcox Blvd. and Dodson Ave.
Intersection of Dodson Ave. and Rawlings Street
2100 Camden St.
1400 N. Chamberlain St.
2500 Fourth Ave.
2300 E. 23rd St.
2600 Fourth Ave.
2500 Sixth Ave.
5204 Brainerd Road
Intersection of Tunnel and Wilcox boulevards
Source: Chattanooga Police Department
Chattanooga police plan to put up 15 video cameras across the city this spring in a bid to crack down on crime through a system of eyes in the sky.
The cameras will stream live video back to a central control hub at the Police Services Center on Amnicola Highway and record video that routinely will be saved for no more than 30 days, police Chief Fred Fletcher said.
Most cameras will be mounted on telephone poles and aimed at public spots where authorities often see crimes occur, police said.
While Fletcher demonstrated the system during a news conference Friday, the cameras likely won't be up and running until May. The department has been planning the installation for several months.
Each camera is connected to a 2-foot-tall, white, rectangular box emblazoned with the police department's badge. The 39-pound boxes are designed to be easily mounted and removed, so police will be able to change the cameras' locations as crime shifts.
The conspicuous design is intentional, Fletcher said.
"Respecting the privacy concerns communicated to us from the community, we decided to make them clearly marked, so people know where they are," he said. "Nobody is trying to surprise or trick anybody. There is no attempt to camouflage them or hide them."
He said he expects residents to be very aware of the cameras when they're new, but he believes they likely will forget about them as time passes.
"I have personally seen drug deals take place underneath a camera," he said.
The cameras can be used both to deter crime and to record evidence or confirm eyewitness accounts after an incident, Fletcher said. Cameras already in use in Chattanooga's public housing complexes have proven useful tools, he added.
The 15-camera rollout will cost about $113,000, according to police. Each camera can pan, zoom and rotate, either on a preset, automatic rotation or by manual control.
In addition to streaming to the police department's Real Time Intelligence Center, which is under construction, individual officers also will be able to review video on their in-car laptops, Fletcher said.
Mayor Andy Berke, who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, attended Friday's demonstration and said the new cameras will be one of many tools for law enforcement.
"Just as there is no one issue that causes crime, there is no one solution that solves it," he said. "We're determined to find any creative solution that will reduce violence."
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Updated Friday, Jan. 10 at 11:30 p.m. with additional information