COLUMBIA — Security cameras were installed in four locations downtown and will provide footage for the Columbia Police Department starting Friday.
Cameras were installed at the intersections of Broadway and Hitt Street, Broadway and Tenth Street, Cherry and Ninth streets and Cherry and Tenth streets. Two cameras were placed at each location.
These intersections were near or a part of "hot spots" associated with high levels of criminal activity, according to a previous Missourian report.
ISG Technology Inc., the contractor the city chose for the installation and maintenance of the cameras, has been testing the cameras since their initial installations, which began July 9, according to Columbia Police Lt. Chris Kelley.
Kelley said ISG is still “doing some tweaking with a few of them (and) changing some of them out today.”
The videos will be transferred wirelessly to an antenna on top of City Hall, which is connected to the city’s fiber network. The videos will be stored on an ISG server.
Recordings will be saved for 60 days, unless footage of a specific crime needs to be stored.
The $75,000 installation cost was approved by the City Council in May, with funding split between the city and the Special Business District.
The cameras’ installation was approved by voters in the April 2010 election, largely because of strong backing by the grass-roots advocacy group Keep Columbia Safe.
Although the proposition passed with 58 percent approval overall, the majority of First Ward voters opposed the installation of the security cameras. The downtown area is in the First Ward.
Supporters argued the cameras would act as a crime deterrent and a helpful tool in criminal investigations. Opponents argued that the cameras are an expensive and unnecessary invasion of privacy and are unlikely to deter crime.