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Huntsville police to expand crime prevention camera initiative

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In 2018, the Huntsville Police Department put up cameras throughout northern Huntsville to try to stop crime. But Captain Jeffery Rice says those cameras weren't working as well as they could have. That's why they're putting new ones out but the goal is still the same.

"We're hoping that the cameras will reduce crime, and when crime happens we're able to respond to that crime," said Rice.

Captain Rice says they're going to make sure they get the best technology out there. "If we're going to spend taxpayer dollars on a program we want to make sure that we have the best equipment that is available."

Huntsville's City Council president, Devyn Keith says once they find the right system, this will save money. "It costs us less to run a camera all day than it is to go around day by day and house by house and ask for eyewitness accounts."

Keith says many people now have a camera on the outside of their house, so this is nothing new.

Even though the cameras they tested last year weren't what they wanted, Keith says they saw less crime. "We posted really our lowest crime last year because of those proactive messages of community involvement but technology as well."

For anyone wondering if this is an invasion of privacy, Captain Rice hopes to be clear that it isn't. "We're going to make sure that we're not intruding on anyone's constitutional rights that pertain to privacy."

Keith says the first set of new cameras will go up on Medaris Road. Captain Rice says the new cameras will be up in the next few weeks and the trial will last throughout the summer months.

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