Arab city leaders plan to move forward with camera installation around the city

ARAB, Ala. --  Arab city leaders plan to move forward with a project that would add nearly 25 new cameras to different areas of the city. Some of those areas are where police officers have noticed vandalism.

"These cameras are primarily covering the park," said Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston. "We're adding 10 cameras to the park to the already large number of cameras that we have there now. We're updating the cameras that are over there. We're adding them to our range, we're adding them to our city shop, we're adding them to our historic district and a couple other spots within the city."

The cameras will go on city property. Police officers will have the ability to monitor them at the department. "Primarily we're doing it because of the vandalism we've had," Ralston continued. "We can't have an officer over there 24/7. We don't have the money, we don't have the officers. We can't hire somebody part-time because once they leave an area then that area is susceptible to vandalism."

Ralston said someone vandalized areas of Arab City Park over the last couple of months. "We want to be able to cover that as much as we can," Ralston continued. "Hopefully with the cameras we'll be able to prosecute somebody and hopefully deter that."

The Arab City Council is expected to award the bid for the project at its meeting Monday night. City leaders expect work to begin within a month after that.

Ralston said a future goal is to add cameras at heavily traveled intersections in the city in the next year or so. He stresses the purpose is not to write traffic tickets, but to help in crash investigations and law enforcement alerts.

This current phase of cameras will cost the city about $25,000.