Another neighborhood watched by security cameras

New security camera installed in North Columbia
New security camera installed in North Columbia

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Cameras in Five Points. Cameras on Main Street. And now, cameras are going up in parts of North Columbia.

There is a set of cameras on North Main and Monticello Road and another set down the street near Beltline.  Dozens will be going up in the Eau Claire neighborhood over the next few weeks.

90 cameras are being installed.

Business owners are hoping the cameras not only cut down on crime but help boost the vitality of the area.

"Crime goes down, businesses thrive, people are safer," said Carey Shealy with Statewide Security Systems. "It helps the police, it helps everybody. It's a joint effort."

"You can take the whole North Columbia sector from Elmwood Avenue all the way out to I-20," said Tommy Burkett with the North Columbia Business Association. "They're going to be blasting. And Columbia College, they're putting them there and the Lutheran Seminary."

"They're going to be where they need to be," said Burkett. "They're going to be in the hot spots."

North Columbia is a hot spot for the Columbia Police Department.  The cameras will add to the increased patrols.  They will be recording constantly night and day.

"The views are basically the traffic - the cars driving by, the people walking by," said Shealy.  "There are four cameras on each of the boxes and they look in each direction, North, South, East, West. This way, anything that happens in that camera view, you've got it."

The goal is better security and a sense of ease for visitors and business owners.

"Yes, this was a depressed area," said Burkett. "And it is still somewhat depressed but it's not like it was. This area is turning around."

Burkett is also a business owner.  He's responding to critics who say Eau Claire has already seen its best days.

"Come out here in another year," he said. "Just make a visit to North Columbia in Eau Claire in one more year and I think you'll see a tremendous change."

The cameras are recording all the time and can be monitored at anytime. Statewide Security Systems and business owners can pull up most video on a computer, phone or iPad.

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