Security cameras installed for New Year's Eve remain on Main Street

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - With the new year came new surveillance of Columbia's Main Street.

At first the 20 cameras were supposed to be temporary but now Columbia Police and the city want them to remain permanently.

"In our interest and in the interest of public safety it's a tool we cannot go without."

The Columbia Police Department says since January the cameras have cut down 25% of the crime on Main Street.

Carey Shealy works for Statewide Security Systems, the company that installed each camera.

"We've caught just about everything on video that's a criminal offense it seems like," said Shealy.

Shealy says his cameras have picked up a lot in Five Points.  Including the image of the man police believe started the fire last month at Salty Nut Café and the eight young men accused of brutally beating Carter Strange last year.

"It's no different than you have in a neighborhood watch," said Shealy. "You got eyes and ears. People watching out for what's going on."

City officials say they plan to apply for a grant to pay for the cameras on Main Street.

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