Councilman Tim Leigh used his electronic newsletter today to make the case for surveillance cameras downtown.
The City Council will consider the proposal today on first reading. The meeting starts at 1 p.m. at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.
Here is Leigh’s newsletter:
Is the downtown is safe or not? How do you feel about sending your 13 year old daughter, granddaughter, or niece, (or for that matter), your wife to the downtown? Exactly. . .
The point of installing cameras in the downtown is to help ensure greater public safety.
Cameras multiply the eyes watching downtown which help the police department respond to any call for action quickly. Cameras are not a panacea. They are merely 1 arrow in a broad public safety quiver. They are a single step in the right (direction).
Cameras are a force multiplier
– A force multiplier is simply a way to multiply the number of police officers
– A larger police force prevents unnecessary criminal or other unruly activity
The capital cost for cameras is roughly equivalent to the annualized cost of 2 foot-patrol officers
– Once the capital cost is made, there are no additional capital costs
– Once the capital cost is made, there are no legacy costs
– Legacy costs include health insurance
– Legacy costs include PERA
Cameras are the least expensive way to watch-for nefarious activity in the downtown
Why should a tax payer from outside the downtown be willing to pay for cameras? – because we need a safe downtown. People who study these issues say, “As the downtown goes, so goes the city”. If we want a robust city, we must have a vibrant downtown.
To create vibrancy, we need greater population and financial density downtown. (For reference, think of shopping mall foot traffic.)
Without greater population and financial density, desirable shops cannot locate downtown because they can’t afford the rent
Without greater population and financial density, the value of downtown commercial buildings decreases
– Decreasing property values produces attendant decreases in commercial property tax revenue to the general fund
Decreasing revenue in the general fund decreases the city’s ability to pay for other public safety needs; roads, parks, pools, and the general promotion of a high quality of life
To create population and financial density we need primary employer’s downtown. To attract primary employers downtown, it needs to be safe. Included in the mix of promoting downtown safety and vibrancy are cameras.
Pay attention. Be informed. Keep it real.