Installation of security cameras delayed after Bond community leaders raise concerns

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Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 16, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Police Department now taking a step toward the future. The department putting up six cameras at intersections in the Bond community.

• Floral & Saxon
• Floral & Russell
• Osceola & Holton
• Osceola & Poppy
• Saxon & Nassau
• Gamble & Perry

"I think it's a great idea, and I think it’s another tool that this community can use to help curb crime,” said Rhett Turnquest.

The goal is to deter crime, but also to assist TPD's investigations if something does happen.

"Open drug sales and prostitution have been going on in this community for 40 plus years. It's high time that we got some tools that would help stop those things that are going on in the bond community," Turnquest explained.

Many residents are in support of the cameras, but are upset they weren't in on the conversation before a decision was made.

"I think that was the only pushback; that there wasn't any engagement on the neighborhood level about the cameras," said Talethia Edwards, President of the Neighborhood Association.

The cameras were supposed to go up earlier this week, but the plan was halted to host a meeting Thursday night. Chief DeLeo says it was a learning lesson for everyone.

"We just want to make sure that people know. We've had a number of community meetings where these things have been discussed and not everybody was aware of it; and we just want to make better efforts in the future to spread the word ahead of time," DeLeo explained.

"We want to do what we can to eradicate crime. We need to work on unifying ourselves as one unit, so that we can get information disseminated and neighbors can know and feel comfortable,” Edwards said.


By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 14, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The City of Tallahassee has delayed the installation of six safety cameras in the Bond community after several residents raised concerns.

The cameras were scheduled to go up Tuesday at six intersections city officials call "high crime intersections."

Those intersections are Floral and Saxon, Floral and Russell, Osceola and Holton, Osceola and Poppy, Saxon and Nassau, and Gamble and Perry.

The City of Tallahassee announced the installation of the security cameras during the city's public safety meeting on November 8.

"I'm thinking like, what, I didn't even know that. So, that was very surprising to me," said Talethia Edwards, the president of the Greater Bond Neighborhood Association.

Edwards says she wishes the association had a say in the city's plan for the cameras.

She said, "I was concerned that they spent over $20,000 to put cameras in the neighborhood when in my opinion, from a citizen perspective, when we're thinking about programs and things that can actually be immediate help to the community, that we say we don't have funding for that. So, $20,000 on cameras--if we had sat down to talk, we may have been able to come up with something that was little more immediate to affect change than cameras."

City officials say they chose to put security cameras in the Bond community because evidence shows that's where criminal activity is occurring.

They say the cameras would not be directed at private properties. Angelise Card, the vice president of the neighborhood association, has concerns about that. Two of the six cameras are near her home.

Card said, "There are certain areas that are eye sores, and we know them to be problematic in our neighborhood. I was hoping that those areas would be monitored. But, just to hear that two cameras that would just be in operation, I didn't feel comfortable with that."

Card says she's also concerned about the ability for homeowners to sell their homes because the cameras would be associated with negative labels.

Assistant City Manager Cynthia Barber says she and Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo have walked the community and spoken to people who suppport the cameras.

She says they plan to discuss the concerns with the Greater Bond Neighborhood Association in a day or two, then install the cameras on Friday or Monday.


By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 9, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- 2017 has been a record year for crime in Tallahassee. There have been 28 shootings, resulting in 21 homicides and a total of 53 victims.

City officials will be putting up six safety cameras at areas they call "high crime intersections" in the Bond community.

Those intersections include Floral and Saxon, Floral and Russell, Osceola and Holton, Osceola and Poppy, Saxon and Nassau and Gamble and Perry.

Some people say they feel safe in the area, but think the cameras wouldn't hurt.

"I do live right here. I don't feel too uncomfortable but I do actually feel a lot more comfortable now that they're going to be putting cameras up. It's a great addition," said Nallah Brown.

City officials say the cameras will be in public areas and not pointed at private property. They won't be actively monitored, but will be used to deter crime as well as solve crime.

"One, it'll hopefully deter some criminal activity. People see the cameras and obviously when people commit a crime they don't want to be caught. And in the event that a crime does occur, they'll be recording the information and it'll give us a better ability to follow up,” said Police Chief Michael DeLeo.

The cameras are expected to start going up next week.

Area resident Umbray White said, "Cameras will be very good because in a community that you're trying to keep together, you're trying to have good spirits and everybody come together. Cameras help prevent crime. I know this for a fact."

Each camera cost around $3,000. Chief DeLeo says he hopes to buy ten more cameras in the near future.



 
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