AUSTIN (KXAN) — As part of the Safer Sixth Street initiative released this week, police stressed the need for at least 13 additional HALO cameras.
Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon addressed that plan in further detail with KXAN.
“We came to this by looking at our research and planning and crime analysis,” he said. “And where we are seeing more issues in our downtown area. And then when we overlay that with the map of the cameras, where are we deficient in cameras.”
At this time, he could not elaborate on what those locations are.
Chief Chacon says HALO cameras have been helpful during investigations. Just last month, police were able to identify a man who killed two people in the middle of the day, including one on Sixth Street, by going through HALO camera footage.
There’s no timeline yet as to how long it will take to get these cameras installed.
City staff presented two payment options for the additional cameras.
The first option would cost $898,197 and would include a complete overhaul of the camera system. The Safer Sixth Street memo states this would make the eventual transition of the HALO system from APD Headquarters to the Austin Regional Intelligence Center cheaper and more efficient. Police recommend this option.
The other option would cost $193,000. This would just add the 13 additional cameras to the existing system. Council Member Kathie Tovo, whose district includes downtown, recommends this option because she says she wants to see them installed as soon as possible.