“COPS Cameras help us get criminals off the streets,” said Mayor Walsh in recommending investment to Syracuse Common Council

Syracuse, N.Y.  – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is proposing nearly $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Syracuse Common Council to invest in and expand the network of COPS Cameras in the City of Syracuse. The investment is part of the Mayor’s commitment to use ARPA funding to strengthen Syracuse neighborhoods as they respond to the continuing challenges of the pandemic.

A COPS Camera installation on the Near West Side near Syracuse STEM at Blodgett Middle School.

The expenditure would allow the Syracuse Police Department to repair, maintain and purchase new neighborhood security cameras, which play a key role in crime prevention and investigation and are the public safety technology most requested by community groups and elected leaders.  The Council’s Public Safety Committee will consider the proposal at its standing meeting on Thursday, Sept. 2.

“The blue light flashing on COPS cameras increases the feeling of safety and security in neighborhoods. The devices also play a critical part in disrupting crime and apprehending suspects after a crime has been committed.  COPS cameras help us get criminals off the streets,” said Mayor Walsh.  “With ARPA funding, we will have more flexibility in the placement of new installations and in the upkeep of the current network of cameras. With this funding, we can make our neighborhoods safer.”

The Department says installations and repairs will be determined based on neighborhood crime data. With ARPA funds, the Department also intends to purchase portable, solar-powered cameras using 5G wireless to send footage to the COPS system. The portable units will allow the Department to more quickly respond with camera installation in neighborhoods experiencing spikes in crimes, including gun violence, burglary or vehicle thefts.

According to the Department, COPS cameras are invaluable in investigating and making arrests in all categories of crimes, including violent gun crimes and homicides.  In 2021, overall crime in the City of Syracuse is down 13% through Aug. 30.  According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice, all categories of gun violence in the City of Syracuse are down 31% to 35% through Aug. 23. Other large upstate cities are experiencing major increases in shooting incidents.

Mayor Walsh will ask the Council to authorize the ARPA expenditure on COPS cameras at its Sept. 13 regular meeting.

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