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City of Birmingham considering surveillance cameras for high crime areas

The City of Birmingham is proposing to install around 100 surveillance cameras around the city's high crime areas. (abc3340.com)

The Birmingham City Council will consider a proposal Tuesday to install surveillance cameras in what it believes are the city's high crime areas. The resolution states the surveillance system would focus on the Central Park, Ensley, Gate City, and Kingston neighborhoods.

Councilman Hunter Williams spearheaded the project which involves roughly 100 cameras. The cameras would be designed to work in conjunction with an expanded ShotSpotter program to help solve gunfire and violent crime in the city. Williams said the cameras would be focused on public areas and would not be directed at private residences.

"Right now the number one quality of life issue that we have in the city of Birmingham is gunfire and violent crime. We, as leadership at the city hall, need to be able to give our police department whatever tools that they deem necessary to help curb some of this violence."

Video would be monitored by Birmingham's Metro Area Crime Center. The facility at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is made up of more than a dozen local law enforcement agencies. Surveillance video is monitored 24/7 at the facility.

If approved, the cameras would be installed by the Alabama Power Company for a term of five years at an estimated cost of $672,000 per year. Williams said the cameras could be rolled out within 90 days of approval by the mayor's office.


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