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IC Ped Mall Security Cameras
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -
They serve as the eye in the sky for the ped-mall since the downtown district installed them in 2010.
"It is common knowledge that they are down here, people know in the ped-mall they are being recorded," said Officer David Schwindt with the Iowa City Police Department.
Schwindt says even though the 7 cameras are on 24/7, there is no live monitoring.
"They're only used as a reactive resource for investigations and such so we can pull up video later on," Schwindt said.
He says he's handed off video to investigators in several cases. As for their effectiveness, it's hit or miss.
"Sometimes they've been effective, it depends on that lighting condition," Schwindt said. "There have been a number of times where events happen, but they are too far away from certain cameras."
Colin Sandberg with Bread Garden Market is not a big believer in the cameras.
"We still have issues with shoplifting, there's still issues with people shoplifting on the ped-mall," Sandberg said.
Sandberg says the presence of the cameras haven't really deterred crime. He says if anything they shifted the problem.
"It might be effective in an area, but people are still gonna smoke, they're still gonna be violent, they're just gonna do it somewhere else," Sandberg said.
Kyle Francois with the wedge downtown says he's still waiting to see the full impact of the cameras.
"I can't think of a situation where a crime has been solved or prevented because of the cameras," Francois said.
He says awareness of your surroundings, not cameras, is the best tool.
"I don't think a camera up above will make Iowa City a safer place."
Police say the cameras have caught mostly assaults and property damage. The cameras have not picked up any crimes involving drugs.