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Dallas To Add 600 New Cameras To Cut Crime

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - The city of Dallas took a concrete step Wednesday toward what it hopes will be a safer city.

The council okayed more than 6-million dollars for security camera upgrades.

Dallas Police have identified 27 crime hot spots and plan a variety of deterrents with 600 new cameras as part of the equation. 

It comes as welcome news to some downtown workers, like John Grieger.  

"I think it's a good idea. If there's a crime committed down here, then we could see what happened."  

Dallas police feel the security cameras installed over the years have made an impact. After nearly a year of study, the city promised to provide more of them.

"I think public safety is job #1," according to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "Crime has been coming down over the last years, but there are still those hot spots. We've got to have the cameras for those hot spots."  

New cameras and hardware will soon be on the way, along with software upgrades and a five-year maintenance agreement for all of it.

Many of the 600-cameras will be portable and can be moved from hot spot to hot spot.  

"Our downtown is growing," says Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano, who also chairs the public safety committee.

She feels cameras definitely change peoples' behaviors. 

"I think that if people do know there are cameras, I think the behavior will definitely change." 

The cameras will be able to live stream to computers as well, and all of it available at the Fusion, the digital control room at Dallas Police Headquarters.  Some public places, like police headquarters and Dallas City Hall, will be monitored full time.

Folks who work downtown don't think it's too invasive. 

"I've never been concerned about them," Betsy Wright told CBS-11 News.  "I like the security of it.  Especially as women downtown. We really like the camera." 

Her friend, Marie Munson joked, "It's okay for people to see what I do.  I'm not doing anything I don't want somebody to see."

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