Columbia police chief: Decision to place downtown cameras to be based on data

Thursday, June 24, 2010 | 4:47 p.m. CDT; updated 9:00 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 25, 2010

COLUMBIA — Columbia Police Department Chief Ken Burton is still reviewing the "nuts and bolts" involved in making a decision about downtown cameras.

The Columbia City Council charged Burton with the task of deciding if and where surveillance cameras should be placed downtown, in accordance with the downtown camera ordinance.

According to a previous Missourian article, the Police Department's crime analyst created a crime "hot spot" map, which shows calls for police service in downtown Columbia. Burton said he wants to break this data down a little more to see if cameras are a viable option for downtown. Burton said he isn't leaning one way about whether downtown would benefit from surveillance cameras.

"We want to be completely objective about it and let the data speak for itself," Burton said.

Burton said he wants to bring hard data, not anecdotes, before the council. He said he doesn't want to decide where cameras should be placed based on stories he's heard about crime downtown or his opinions of crime downtown.

Burton said expects to bring data before the council in about 30 days.

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