The Decatur Police Department currently has eight overt video surveillance cameras in operation in the City of Decatur. The overt surveillance systems are an example of 21st century policing and are very popular with the neighborhood residents. The cameras continue to have a positive effect on reducing the level of street crime (drug sales, prostitution, and fights) in our neighborhoods and provide a sense of security and a higher quality of life for neighborhood residents. The Decatur Police Department continues to seek further funding for additional cameras.
Over the last three years, the Decatur Police Department has used Weed and Seed grant funds to purchase six cameras for the three Weed and Seed neighborhoods. Old King’s Orchard has three cameras which are located at Edward/Marietta, College/Leafland, and Union/Leafland. GM Square has one camera which is located at Division/Union. Neighborhood United has two cameras which are located at Marietta/Vandyke and Pine/Packard.
The Decatur Police Department used Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) grant funds to purchase cameras in neighborhoods outside the Weed and Seed site. The Southside Improvement Association has one camera which is located at Johns/Maffit. The Jasper Park area has one camera which is located at Calhoun/Main.
This project utilizes state of the art equipment and the Police Department has received a great deal of technical assistance from the City of Decatur’s Management Information Services (MIS) in the initial deployment and maintenance of the surveillance systems. The City Forestry Division also assists with this project with routine tree trimming services which provides a clear field of view for the police officers monitoring the cameras. Currently, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) provides funding for utilities and maintenance for all the cameras.
The cameras are highly overt with Decatur Police marking and posted signage (ATTENTION Area Under Police Video Surveillance) throughout the surveillance area. The cameras have either a 22x or 36x optical zoom with an additional 10x digital zoom. This allows for clear viewing up to several blocks. The cameras are full color, full motion, with full pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ), and all remotely controlled from the Police Department. The cameras are monitored throughout the Decatur Police Department, including the Patrol Division Command Office and Street Crimes Unit. Digital video storage is approximately 7 – 10 days.