News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Crooks, beware! North Augusta will soon have it's eye on you.
Crews are in installing high tech surveillance cameras at several sites around the city, including Greeneway parking lots and the municipal building. With these new high tech lenses, they'll have a clear view of what's happening.
The cameras at the municipal building are already up and running, and construction has already started to put eyes up in all the other lots.
"The black poles in the parking lot are where the cameras will go," North Augusta Director of Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services Rick Meyer said.
They're cameras that could catch crooks in action.
"I certainly don't have the mind of a criminal, but you certainly don't want to be caught on tape doing anything," Meyer admitted.
Pretty soon, all the Greeneway parking lots will have cameras like the ones already posted in the municipal building lot. They're being installed after a rash of car break-ins. Even North Augusta's Public Safety Chief was a victim earlier this year.
The high tech lenses come with a $180,000 price tag and contract with Technology Solutions of Charleston.
"I think that is the best way to spend our tax dollars. Personally, it gives me a lot of confidence that I can go out to different outlying areas to walk or ride my bike," Greeneway user Paula Martin said.
"The good news with these cameras is they do have a zoom lens and we're able to zoom in on the tags of people's cars where they enter the parking lot," Meyer said.
The cameras will also have facial recognition, night-vision, and a real-time quality that will allow public safety officers to watch a live feed right from their patrol cars.
"It gives North Augusta Public Safety a fighting chance to nail these folks that want to break in people's cars," Meyer said.
He hopes these cameras will be sending a warning to criminals and easing the community's mind.
"If you catch someone with those cameras, then you're gonna know that they can't just get by with anything here," Betty Sutton-Usry said.
"It's going to be another 'Big Brother' looking over them and trying to protect our community," Martin said.
These cameras are just the beginning. Meyer says the long-term plan is to expand coverage throughout the city. That could include the new public safety substation in the works and other intersections around town.