East Bay News

Security cameras deter crime in Oakland neighborhood

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oakland police may be inundated and overwhelmed, but high-tech help is on the way. An Oakland neighborhood group is taking an unusual step to make sure community members have access to an important crime-fighting tool.

The Montclair District is lined with beautiful houses and nice views, but in the past 18 months, crime has spiked in the neighborhood, so the Montclair Safety and Improvement Council is asking residents to get surveillance cameras to help deter and solve crimes.

"We take public safety as a priority," said Jill Broadhurst, "and we've gotten enough concern from the neighborhood...telling us that they are looking for added security measures."

This Saturday, the topic of surveillance cameras will be in focus at the Montclair Elementary School, where a three-camera security system will be available for purchase for about $300. Technology experts will also be on-hand to offer advice on how to best hook up the cameras to a computer.

Rosney Reese stopped by to see what a news crew was doing in his neighborhood and now says he's interested in the security cameras, especially after three break-ins on his street over the past week.

Another Montclair resident, Rick Baskin, said he also interested.

"It provides evidence in court if there is a criminal case," said Baskin, who is an attorney by profession.

Surveillance video from the Montclair neighborhood has already led to one conviction. The neighborhood is working with Oakland police to get this right.

"The cameras are working," Broadhurst said. "The police are working with us on that. They're happy that we're doing it."

Broadhurst said ideally the neighborhood would want more officers, but that's not expected anytime soon.

"So in the meantime, let's partner as best we can," Broadhurst said.

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crime, oakland, east bay news, terry mcsweeney
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