West Philly group distributes high-quality cameras in effort to deter gun violence – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an effort to deter crime and gun violence in Philadelphia, a group is distributing cameras to businesses and residents.

This is a two-way street. The cameras help residents and business owners feel safe and also help police fight crime.

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Extra pairs of eyes on the streets of West Philly.

Jabari Jones is the president of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative. He is helping businesses and residents get home surveillance cameras in hopes of stopping the gun violence and crime plaguing the area.

“We have seen people from all walks of life become victims of gun violence, from seniors to children to infants,” Jones said.

Jones works with the police to find high crime areas and they select addresses and set them up.

“Cameras act as a natural impediment because when people see there’s a camera there, they think twice about doing anything in that particular area,” Jones said.

He says this project, funded by a state grant, started after a July 2021 shooting where police say more than 100 shots were fired during a Fourth of July cookout. Two people were killed, including a 23-year-old shop owner.

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“It took five months for the city to find these individuals even though they were caught on six different cameras because the cameras were of such poor quality,” Jones said.

Now the cameras are sharp and have high quality sharp images.

“The cameras are so sharp that even at night you can see everything,” said Kevyn Michael.

Michael, owner of Kevyn Michael Boutique, can access the images on his smartphone. He says the cameras make him feel safe.

“I think when criminals know they’re being filmed, maybe there’s less crime,” Michael said.

Residents who have them say they also feel more protected.

“I think it’s a very good process and I’d like to see it in other areas,” said Marilyn White.

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They are looking for more funds to continue this project when the grant money runs out.

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