PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an effort to deter crime and gun violence in Philadelphia, a group hands out cameras to businesses and residents.
This is a two way street. The cameras help residents and businesses to feel safe and also help the police in fighting crime.
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Extra pair of eyes on the streets of West Philadelphia.
Jabari Jones is the president of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative. He helps businesses and residents get surveillance cameras into their homes in hopes of stopping the gun violence and crime that plagues the area.
“We’ve seen people from all walks of life become victims of gun violence — from seniors to children to infants,” Jones said.
Jones works with the police to find high-crime areas, select and install addresses.
“The cameras act as a natural deterrent because when people see that there is a camera, they think twice about doing something in that particular area,” Jones said.
He says this project — funded by a state grant — all started after a shooting in July 2021, where more than 100 shots were fired during a cookout on July 4, according to police. Two people were killed, including a 23-year-old shop owner.
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“It took the city five months to find those individuals, although they were caught with six different cameras because the cameras were of such low quality,” Jones said.
Now the cameras are crystal clear and have razor-sharp, high-quality images.
“The cameras are so bright even at night that you can see everything,” said Kevyn Michael.
Michael, owner of Kevyn Michael Boutique, has access to the images on his smartphone. He says the cameras make him feel safe.
“I think if criminals know they are being filmed, maybe there will be less crime,” Michael said.
Residents who have them also indicate that they feel more protected.
“I think it’s a really good process and I’d like to see it take place in other areas,” Marilyn White said.
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They are looking for more funding to continue this project when the grant money runs out.