Are surveillance cameras the solution to Jackson’s crime problem?

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance is struggling to get the Jackson Police Department at full capacity.

The city council approved allowing officers to live 20 miles outside of the city to widen the pool of potential candidates.

While the department can’t spare to place an officer on every corner, surveillance cameras have offered help in fighting crime.

Often times, WJTV posts pictures and videos of crimes caught on camera. But, those images don’t come from city cameras.

“I think we are a long way away from getting a citywide camera system, unless we discover some outside funding sources that could provide those particular items for us,” Chief Vance said.

He recognizes the city could greatly benefit from having surveillance cameras. However, he says the money just isn’t there.

“Because of some of the budget issues and things we’ve had to do without during the past three years or so, we are just replacing basic needs,” Vance said.

According to Vance, the department hasn’t specifically looked into putting cameras up, but they’ve considered it. Until they can afford a serious examination, he encourages business owners and even homeowners to invest in systems.

The City of Vicksburg recently put up cameras in high crime areas.

The American Civil Liberties Union has a problem with certain surveillance cameras in this country.

The ACLU released a statement that read in part:

The overuse of surveillance technologies has turned many non-white and poor neighborhoods into fish bowls and some into virtual prisons, where their residents’ public behavior is monitored and scrutinized 24 hours a day. “

There are cameras on stop lights throughout the city, specifically in the downtown area. But Chief Vance says those are streaming cameras monitored by MDOT.

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