City Cameras Now Monitored Around The Clock

September 24, 2008 6:48:27 PM PDT
S.R. Kelley has lived in his Central Fresno home for a long time now. "58 years, 2 months and 24 days." The 83 year old says the years haven't been kind to his neighborhood as crime has gone up. He said, "Over the last 10 years it's been getting a little worse." Fresno Police installed 87 high tech cameras around the city to catch criminals and deter them. Police Chief Jerry Dyer now has 9 police cadets monitoring all cameras 24 hours a day 7 days a week. One of those cameras is at McKinley and Millbrook, right across the street from Mr. Kelley's home. And it recently caught this man spray painting graffiti on a wooden fence. At one point he looked directly into the camera. Chief Jerry Dyer said, "We're sending a very important message to the criminals and that is criminals beware."

The cadets check every camera during their shift and hone in on specific ones at key times of the day. Lt. Burke Farrah said, "For instance if we have a bar in a certain area we want to make sure we keep an eye on that bar at closing time when street robberies and fights can occur."

Take a look at this video captured on Fresno and B Street where a woman repeatedly beating and stabbing a homeless man. Cadets saw what was going on, zoomed in on the victim who collapsed, and also got a good look at the suspect. Moments later police arrived and they later arrested this woman, 41 year old Kimberly Harris the victim was just released from the hospital.

Chief Dyer says safeguards are in place to prevent the cameras from being abused. "We also have window blanking on our cameras that prevents our cadets from being able to zoom into windows. So it cannot see through glass." Chief Dyer wants to have cameras in 90% of the city and plans to install 40 new ones in Northeast and Southeast Fresno by the end of the year.

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