A sign stating that video taping is in progress sits perched on a street light downtown. The signs are meant to both instill fear among those who would attempt a crime and ease concern amongst those who live, work and play downtown.
ALBANY, Ga. - The Downtown Manager's office is putting up signs to remind those who would act out downtown that they're being watched.
The signs went up this week and feature a graphic of a camera and a brief message stating that those downtown are being recorded.
"The idea is that they'll serve as one more reason for people who come downtown not to act out and will add another reason for people to feel safe in what is historically one of the safest places in Albany," Aaron Blair, the city's downtown manager, said Friday.
City Manager James Taylor said that the signs have been a priority but that the city has had to walk a bit of tight rope when it comes to the wording of the signs.
"We don't want people to flip out and think we're like 'Big Brother', monitoring everything they do, because we aren't," Taylor said. "And we don't want to give them the feeling that just because they're there, that they are 100 percent safe either."
The city purchased the camera system two years ago in an effort to make people feel safer downtown, especially during large events like Mardi Gras and the July 4 celebration.
Still, the city has found itself struggling with efforts to shrug off a lingering perception that downtown is dangerous.
"I think you'd be surprised at what the cameras have helped us do. It's more than just a tool to stop or hinder crime; they're helping us notice issues with the crosswalks and traffic patterns and all sorts of things," Taylor said.