Huntsville police install surveillance cameras, gunshot detectors in North Huntsville

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New police technology may soon be coming to your neighborhood. The Huntsville Police Department is testing out its latest crime fighting technology in an area prone to violence.

Huntsville police installed cameras on the streets of North Huntsville to help them better patrol the area. It’s a step towards keeping neighborhoods safe, but not all neighbors are happy about it.

“Will these cameras be able to move? Will they be able to turn and zoom in, into peoples homes and look into your vehicles as you’re passing by? I mean, I don’t need Big Brother watching me all the time,” expressed North Huntsville resident Darrick Crawford.

It’s not Big Brother watching over this North Huntsville neighborhood. It’s the police department. Surveillance cameras and gunshot detectors were installed in the area in an attempt to stop violent crime.

“We do get quite an amount of calls for service there, not per se neighbors that live there sometimes, it’s just the criminal element that comes through the neighborhood, but there again that’s why we need that CCTV to identify this,” explained Lt. Michael Johnson with the Huntsville Police Department.

The new technology is being tested out in North Huntsville first and if they are effective the City will place them throughout Huntsville.

“Right now the gunshot detection device is going through an environmental reading stage, where it’s checking out its environment, I think it takes about 30 days,” Johnson said.

“I have seen crime increase over the years,” Crawford who’s lived in North Huntsville most of his life admits.

He said the cameras aren’t necessary. “I understand the concept as far as security purposes but really security can be taken care of from each individuals house with cameras set up at their house, just to monitor their own property,” Crawford added.

The police department hopes these new tools will deter crime but will greatly rely on them when crime does happen.

“You have a gunshot detection device that actually pics up on the gunshots and then you have cameras that triangulate where that shot is coming from. We now will have images if a car is involved, we will have a suspect car or cars leaving the area immediately after the gunshot has been detected,” said Johnson.

Huntsville police is also looking at installing license plate readers across the city. They wont be installed for another year.

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