Police call for security cameras throughout O'Fallon, Illinois - KMOV.com

Police call for security cameras throughout O'Fallon, Illinois

Posted: Updated:
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- City parks and several intersections, like State and Lincoln streets, could soon have cameras. They're a welcome sight for some.

"Some people might say it's a little too much big brother, but anything that might help keep the crime rate down, I'm certainly in favor of it," John Molina says.

"To me it's more of a safety factor, so maybe I'm walking around here in the dark or whatever, I would feel more protected," Diedra Sanchez says.

O'Fallon police cruisers already have dash cams, but now the police chief wants to give his officers even more eyes on the street.

"At 2 o'clock in the morning when we would have seven or eight sets of eyes on the street in terms of our officers, if we could have 50 or 60 or 100 of eyes -- quote unquote -- out there, it gives us a real opportunity to catch criminals after the event has occurred, perhaps before the crime has been committed," Chief Betten says.

The idea is gaining traction. Police say sussing out surveillance cameras is one of the first steps in their investigations, and they'd like more help. In fact, a bank camera is credited with helping to bag a recent burglar.

"A detective working the neighborhood thought 'you know you can see the camera from the back of the bank from here,' and sure enough we developed a perfect suspect vehicle picture from the video," Chief Betten says. "

Within 15 minutes (of making the photo public) we had someone in jail because of the bank's system even though it wasn't related to the bank, it was only related to their neighborhood."

Next up, the city has asked for a concrete plan before deciding whether to move forward.

Another city is considering installing security cameras.

Cameras are already up in the city of St. Louis, Maplewood and Shiloh, Illinois. Now, O'Fallon, Illinois is talking about getting in on the crime fighting trend, but some people are against the cameras, claiming they violate privacy.

The whole idea, of course, is to prevent and solve crime, and the O'Fallon police chief has a great idea of how to pay for it. He wants to use illegal funds seized by police in busted drug deals. Meaning, the criminals pay for the very system that would be used to catch them.

Make no bones about it -- the cameras O'Fallon police would like see covering the city are meant as a warning.

"Our goal is to put these things front and center and remind you, quite frankly, be careful because you're being watched," O'Fallon Police Chief John Betten says.

Powered by Frankly