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New camera signs go up downtown

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.

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.

Comments

Abytaxpayer 1 year, 8 months ago

"another reason for people to feel safe in what is historically one of the safest places in Albany," Aaron Blair, Historically? He must be talking history long ago because it sure is not the history since the late sixties.

"A lingering perception that downtown is dangerous." And just what is feeding that lingering perception ,,,,,Hmmm let’s just ask anyone who was Downtown July 4th.

The cameras are just more razzle dazzle and do little to cleaning up Downtown. Yep they did such a Great job July 4th. But what the heck keep trying the Positive PR and maybe you will lull some people into a false security to return Downtown.

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rightasrain 1 year, 8 months ago

What a joke! Go downtown and you can be filmed while being mugged, robbed, accosted, rousted, and whatever else the "thugs" want to do to you. That'll really put the fear of Albany's finest in these people.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

The last cameras were for traffic. They were placed downtown and at the intersections of Clark Ave and Liberty Xpwy. No one at the police department could operate them. Those things cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers and the Albany Police Department could not figure how to operate them. Not a single ticket was issued or picture taken or report filed from their months of installation. The city complained and eventually had them removed. The installer's response was " If you want them to work, you have to turn them on." So please Mayor Hubbard, get some one to teach APD how to turn on and operate the cameras.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

I just re-read the article. What could have possessed me? The new equipment provides "video" surveillance. That will make a difference. Surely APD will know how to turn on a video.

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