By Jack White, VHCA Board President
Earlier this year Councilmember Alex Wan offered to match any neighborhood association’s contribution of up to $20K for new public police security cameras. In July, VHCA appropriated $19K for the Atlanta Police Foundation, who selects camera locations and supervises their installation for the city. These cameras – and several hundred others in the city, with more planned – are monitored 24/7 by the Atlanta Police Department. The cameras look like the white one in the image to the right.
We met twice with the Foundation, first with our Safety Committee and the second time with Morningside/Lenox Park (who are also considering the offer) and Poncey-Highland, our neighbors across Ponce de Leon. Alas for the latter, they are not in Alex’s district and have no offer from their own councilmember, whose financial assistance both we and Poncey-Highland would have appreciated.
We enjoyed both meetings with the Foundation, represented each time by Jessica Masters. After examining the locations of existing cameras and pending plans for others, they selected three sites along Ponce de Leon Avenue, chosen for its role as a busy east-west thoroughfare. The cameras should be installed soon, visible at corners westward from Frederica and Ponce.
The thoughtful Ms. Masters also reported that the Foundation was conducting some studies to examine the specific effectiveness of the cameras as a crime-fighting tool. We look forward to sharing those results with you.
We thank her and Councilmember Wan for their support and interest in this topic. As always, Councilmember Wan was very effective in finding tangible ways to support his communities.