New Greene Square security cameras already proving useful for police


    <p>Police said the next phase of their project is to install more security cameras in the downtown area.{/p}

    The Cedar Rapids Police Department has been working for months on an approach to provide 'proactive policing' in areas of the downtown district.

    This month, the city officially implemented new security cameras at Greene Square and Redmond Park as part of this project.

    The cameras at Greene Square are just steps away from the Cedar Rapids Library. Some residents tell CBS2 news this is an important step in ensuring safety at all times for people in the area.

    "I have daughters myself that like coming here, and if something, god forbid something happened to them, they'll be able to see it up on the cameras. So I definitely promote it," said resident Christopher Brown.

    "We had some assaults and some other disorderly conduct type issues occurring in the park," said Cedar Rapids Police Lieutenant Tony Robinson as the reason for implementing the first set of cameras at Greene Square.

    Just five days after the city installed cameras at Greene Square, police caught two juvenile girls committing $1,200 dollars worth of damage to decorations in the park.

    "The cameras are running 24 hours a day, so when we have an incident that occurs at the park, we can go back and review that footage, and determine what happen," said Robinson.

    The cameras are funded through city's collection of unpaid automated traffic camera tickets.

    Police said there has been public support for this kind of safety, but Brown knows not everyone is in favor.

    "Due to the fact that they might do crimes themselves. Some don't want to be on camera," said Brown.

    "We don't go back and just look at footage just to routinely see what's happening unless we had a report of some type of crime occurring," said Robinson.

    For now, Robinson said it is too early to know how safety will improve longterm, but he said these will be important to have as the park gets busier in the spring.

    "I think once people know they are out there, I think word is going to spread that hey cameras are in place and that might impact behavior," said Robinson.

    Police said the next phase of their project is to install more security cameras in the downtown area.

    They believe this will help in preventing and detecting crime during big summer events like market after dark. They expect to install those cameras sometime this year.

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