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30 new DTLA surveillance cameras set to launch at the end of the month

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, at 10:17AM
Flickr via Waltarrrrr

LAPD's Central Division is about a week away from launching their new system of surveillance cameras located throughout three Downtown neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Police Department is working with a contractor to install 30 new surveillance cameras throughout Downtown in an attempt to curb crime in the area. The project was announced at the end of last year and is now about one week away from completion.

LAPD Central Division Capt. Horace Frank said according to the contractor, the project should be up-and-running by May 28.

These new cameras are replacements for the broken ones that hung defunct in Downtown for more than three years. Funded by a federal grant, Frank said the new cameras along with their technological set-up and monitoring system costs almost $300,000.

The cameras will be concentrated in Skid Row, the Fashion District and the Historic Core — "key problem crime locations," explains Frank.

The original cameras were funded by private donors and Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) throughout Downtown, but those cameras weren't adequately maintained or monitored and many eventually stopped working altogether.

This time around, there will be no lapse in operation, said Capt. Frank. The contractor the LAPD is working with has agreed to maintain the surveillance system for free for three years. During that time, Central Division will work to secure funding for future camera upkeep.

So far, 27 of the 30 new cameras are installed. In November, Blogdowntown was told there would be 38 cameras, but Frank confirms that number is actually 30.

Once the installation process is complete, a group of LAPD officers will be trained on how to monitor them. These officers will come from Central Division's Safer Cities Initiative, which deployed 50 extra police officers to Skid Row starting in 2006.

Frank said the cameras will "absolutely" make a difference in Downtown's crime rates by helping officers interrupt crime as they see it occurring, as well as tracking suspects.

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