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Residents say cameras improve public housing safety

Update: 5:01 pm, 10/21/13, Monday DANVILLE -- People here are demanding cameras in Fair Oaks, a public housing facility.
Update: 5:01 pm, 10/21/13, Monday
DANVILLE -- People here are demanding cameras in Fair Oaks, a public housing facility. They believe cameras will add an extra set of eyes will make the neighborhood safer. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has more.

Residents are fed up. They're no strangers to crime. Some of those living here wonder how much violence they have to see firsthand before something changes.

"I heard the shots. It was me and my son in the house. I looked out the window and all I seen was a man laying over there dead, so I called the police."

That's the day Toi Lewis and her son saw Deandre Dunbar pass away. Violence in Fair Oaks is becoming too familiar to her.

"The last time I heard a gunshot was like a week ago. It was a fight out here two days ago."

These buildings are now under the surveillance of these cameras, put in earlier this year. Greg Hillary, director of the housing authority, says it has reduced crime and unwanted guests.

"The camera systems over at MerChe Manor cost $1,000 per camera. The proposal we got for out here is just under $10,000 per camera."

A grant allowed the housing authority to spend roughly $80,000 on the cameras. An extra set of eyes desperately needed in Fair Oaks.

"This particular development being 40-acres would be challenging to put the appropriate number of cameras for full coverage. Where is that money coming from? I don't know."

"A lot of the violence started happening when a lot of people started moving here from Chicago."

The housing authority is concerned about safety.

"We've had some crime here in the area this past year. Seems like more so than in the past. I should be able to feel safe at home and I don't."

A five-year plan is being put in place to start budgeting for the cameras. Leaders hope to start with 17 - 20 of them. Until then, they're looking at fencing in Fair Oaks to keep people who don't live there, out.
Original: 10:05 pm, 10/20/13, Sunday
DANVILLE -- A new set of eyes is looking out for residents. The Danville Housing Authority installed security cameras in two apartments earlier this year. It's an effort to reduce unwanted traffic and crime within public housing.

MerChe Manor Apartments and Churchill Towers are the buildings under surveillance. Many residents think the addition of the cameras is helping reduce problems.

People in the community hope cameras will be installed in the Fair Oaks Complex where the majority of the city's public housing is location. No word yet on future installations.
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