City considers adding cameras near campus

By Anna Carrera , Lindsey Gordon

Published 08/13 2014 10:56AM

Updated 08/13 2014 09:08PM

Update: 5:04 pm, 8/13/14, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN -- The city council is backing a plan to put security cameras on some city streets. They would be near the University of Illinois campus. More than 1,000 are already installed, but police want more.

They would be in different places on streets owned by the city instead of the university. Tuesday night, the council had a study session. Members approved adding four cameras to the intersection of Sixth and John streets. In the future, police want to expand the program into the Green Street corridor.

Investigators say those cameras could help deter crime. If they don't, they could help police track down suspects. Some council members were worried about privacy, but safety concerns outweighed them in the vote.

Police started talking about the idea about two years ago. The university would foot the bill for buying and maintaining the cameras which would be installed on city street lights.

Investigators say more than half of campus crimes happen in the Green Street corridor, on Sixth Street between John and Green and near Fourth and Springfield, so those are the places which will be focused on.

The next step is getting a formal agreement between the city and university. Officials say they could have them up and running in the next six to eight months.
Original: 10:04 pm, 8/12/14, Tuesday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- UI Police want to keep a closer watch on high-crime areas near campus, so they're asking city leaders to let them put up security cameras on city property. For now, they want four cameras at John and Sixth streets. Next, they want to put a few along Green Street.

After talking to people, only one raised concerns about privacy. The rest had no issue with the plan. Police say the cameras are only monitored during events. The footage is most often used to solve a crime after it happens.

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