Davenport City Leaders Consider More Eyes Downtown - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport City Leaders Consider More Eyes Downtown

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Davenport city leaders are considering adding more security cameras to problem areas downtown. Police say they could help identify suspects. There already are security cameras throughout Davenport. In 2008, officials say the city spent $100,000 on monitoring software tying to 30 security cameras.

"Safety is always worth the cost," Alderman Bill Boom said. "Consensus is that yes, that is something we would like to do."

He says a new batch of security cameras, focusing on downtown, could cost around $50,000. He says the money is leftover from a downtown TIF.

"The money came from downtown businesses, so we applied it back downtown," he said.

Davenport police say they support the idea. The cameras would be an addition to patrol officers, not a replacement.

"If the station supervisor is monitoring what's going on, he can maybe deploy some extra officers down there," Assistant Chief Don Schaeffer said.

Meanwhile, some residents have privacy concerns.

"I don't think they need any more cameras," Darrius Miller said. "I mean, there are enough cameras down here. If you ask me, it's just a waste of money."

Police say many private cameras that businesses use aren't always reliable.

"We'll get there, and they'll say they know they had a camera, or something like that, and they'll go to play it back and the machine was down," Schaeffer said.

Other residents say the cameras would make them feel more safe.

"I think it's a good idea to have cameras," Roneisha Johnson said. "People have kids, and sometimes they have to go out late, and they want to be safe with their kids."

If approved Alderman Boom says Harrison Street, between 2nd and 3rd, would be a strategic location to place cameras, as the area becomes more of a late-night social hub.

"There has been some concern about large groups of individuals congregating in our downtown," he said. "We're taking several steps to maintain order and security in that area."

He says it's too soon to know where else the security cameras might go, or just how many the city might add. The next step will be for staff to propose those details, including the total cost, which city council would then review.

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