AUSTIN (KXAN) - Those much-talked-about crime cameras just added to the Sixth Street areas are now up and running, just in time for the Halloween weekend.
"We're real pleased with the results. We've had a lot of success up in the Rundberg area with these cameras," said Patrick Cochran, with APD's technical unit.
"We're expecting sixth street, who paid for all these cameras themselves, will really get a benefit off them," he said.
A group of 6th street businesses paid $250,000 to get the cameras installed.
The Austin Police Department started operating and monitoring 17 new cameras on Sixth between Congress Avenue and Interstate 35 -- in time for the festivities that draw thousands of people downtown.
"I suppose they're a good thing if they stop crime, but they make me a little uneasy personally," said Matt Cook, who is a pedicab driver.
"We get messed with. We get things thrown at us . We get hit and if these cameras could like help bring some of those to a close or like provide justice in that case, that would be cool," he said.
"It does make me feel safer to a certain extent, yes, but at the same time. If I'm in trouble, a camera is not going to help me. I need someone there to help me," said 6th street bartender Brittany Schwartz.
Some 27 other cameras will go up along the cross streets between Fifth and Seventh streets, from Congress Avenue to I-35.
Four were already operating at Rundberg Lane and I-35.
A police commander said the cameras are a "force multiplier" for his officers.
"In the sixth street area, it's going to be primarily assaults or maybe if you see someone who is a pick-pocket or thief. That's something we can focus on," Cochran said. "But, when the crowds are huge or something, it may be just used as evidence later on. Someone comes in tomorrow and says I was punched in the face at such and such time in this location, then we can pull that tape back up and find out who it was."
Police monitor everything from the Real Time Crime Center. And with so many people on Sixth Street, the cameras let them keep an eye on everyone without having to add more officers to the street.
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