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Surveillance Cameras in Dallas Deter Crime

A system of cameras along McKinney Avenue was officially launched Wednesday afternoon, bringing what backers hope will be an added measure of security to residents and workers in the bustling Uptown area.

"We don't feel we have a crime problem, but that's why we want the cameras – as a deterrent," said Jim Reagan, CEO of Uptown Dallas Inc.

He said the cameras would also aid police in solving crimes.

The $160,000 system, which began being installed in February, stretches along McKinney from Pearl Street north to Blackburn Street. The system of 11 cameras will be paid for by the nonprofit organization but monitored by the Dallas Police Department.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief Vince Goldbeck welcomed the new security system.

Since cameras were first added in downtown in 2007, more than 80 have been installed there, and the city has installed 14 more in Jubilee Park. Police have credited the cameras for hundreds of arrests and, as a result, neighborhood groups across Dallas have expressed interest in installing them.

Some police officials have been concerned about whether the growth of such systems would stretch the ability of police to monitor them.

Goldbeck said he believed monitoring would not be a problem with the Uptown system, which had been planned as long as two years ago.

"Absolutely, these are going to be a useful resource for us," he said.

He noted that though the security cameras were along McKinney Avenue, most crime occurred in parking lots or on side streets.

Reagan said the cameras should have a long enough range to protect many of those side areas, and said his organization plans to add nine cameras later.

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