BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday and approved spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new surveillance cameras for high crime areas.
The council believes the surveillance cameras are an important step - not the only step - in bringing down crime in the Magic City.
The council went into executive session for over an hour to discuss the contract with Alabama Power to put up light poles with surveillance cameras. This will be a pilot program and will cost the city more than $670,000 annually for five years.
“The Birmingham Police Department will decide the location based on what type of gun violence they are seeing in the area,” said Hunter Williams, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee and City Councilman.
Originally, the council was told the cameras would be going up in the Central Park, Ensley, Gate City, and Kingston neighborhoods. But that was changed after the closed door session. The cameras will be mobile so they can travel from one area to another. The video from the cameras will go to the Metro Crime Center for analysis.
One councilwoman wanted to be sure her area was not left out. “The main concern was making sure that the eastern area was included as a part of that camera project.” Lashunda Scales, Birmingham City Councilwoman said.
The surveillance cameras are expected to go up sometime in the next 90 days.