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Security cameras coming to Troy

TROY -- You could soon be caught on camera in the Collar City.  Cameras are being installed downtown to help police catch criminals in the act.  But, the plan is not without its critics.

The business owners took their safety issues to the city after several different incidents downtown recently and even more in past months.

"They're overjoyed," said city council president Lynn Kopka.  "They've waited a long time to have their issues addressed."

The Collar City sharpened the focus for a collection of cameras downtown -- mainly along Third and Fourth Streets between Congress and Fulton.

"I'm the person that doesn't want to go out at night because of the crime that's going on," said Diana Clum.

Passersby believe cameras could curtail crime, or even invite visitors to enjoy Troy.

"We're trying to rebuild here," said Sara Gray.  "It would really attract people knowing that they can be safe and everything is fine."

The police department with the city mapped out spots where criminal activity creeps up.  If you think Big Brother is watching, the city council president says, "you go to the bank you're on camera, you go to the grocery store you're on camera, and half the time private businesses have cameras."

The city has seemed serious about crime in the areas near where the cameras would go -- removing benches at Barker Park last year in an effort to keep the bad crowd out at night.  Some say the cameras alone won't work -- they must be monitored.

"I'll be honest with you.  They let the minors get away with murder," said Dusty Oliver.  "What I'm getting at is you could break a window and whatever you want to get away with."

"I think until there's the first arrest people really aren't going to think about it," Kopka said.  "But then when an arrest happens it's like oops!  I'd better stay off that block or I'd better be good."

Cameras would cost about $100,000, and according to Kopka, will be funded by seizures from the District Attorney's office -- not city taxpayers.

The first six cameras should be installed by the end of the summer.