The city of Eau Claire started installing 100 security cameras around town in 2011. Fox 25-48’s Jesse Horne explains what value has been found with using them.
Eau Claire police and city leaders say they’ve placed these surveillance cameras in locations regarded as high-traffic areas. While their presence is hard to miss, they say their value has been seen many times over.
Whether you drive around. Take a walk. Or go to a ballgame. There might be somebody watching.
Dozens of cameras have been placed throughout Eau Claire keeping an eye on a wider area for law enforcement.
“By utilizing this tool, there’s sometimes that we can actually have our resources and our police officers in different locations in the city and we can take a look at the cameras and see how busy it is down here.”
Now, these cameras range in price from $1,200 to $2,500 apiece. So, a big question is ‘is the city of Eau Claire finding a return on its investment?’
Officials say yes and point to Saturday, April 2nd as a sign of proof. That’s when three candidates for president came to Eau Claire within hours of each other.
“When you have potentially three motorcades moving through the city at different times and places, it was very important, and very helpful, for us to be able to monitor the traffic throughout the entire city.”
Eau Claire police operates a command center for these cameras but this afternoon, its monitors were turned off. Hoyord said they do not have the resources to monitor the cameras 24/7.
“I do not see that we’ll be monitoring it 24/7. It is to help us manage our resources as events develop or grow.”
But despite the proliferation of surveillance cameras in Eau Claire, there’s no sense of big brother watching over us.
“It’s not like I’m sitting there saying ‘oh, there’s a camera. There’s a camera.’ protect what you’re doing. I’m just walking down the street. They’re there for our protection and for our safety.”
Deputy Chief Hoyord said these cameras are not a replacement for officers on a patrol, just a tool. And Dale Peters told me, inevitably, there will likely be more cameras as more public facilities go up here.
In Eau Claire. Jesse Horne FOX 25-48 News at 9.