JSO moves forward with plans for neighborhood surveillance cameras

by: Samuel King Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

Officials with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are meeting with camera vendors as the agency looks to install surveillance cameras in high-crime neighborhoods.

People in one Northside neighborhood off Myrtle Avenue know big brother may soon be watching.

“I think it could be a good thing,” said Colleen Dennis, who recently moved to the neighborhood. “As long as they're not concentrating them and we feel like we're targeted.”

The options won’t be cheap. High-quality systems can cost several thousand dollars per camera. The sheriff had said that forfeiture funds or drug money could be used to pay for JSO’S cameras.

Meanwhile, Action News first reported last week that the city’s Department of Public Works is also looking at cameras to help combat illegal dumping. Some officials have suggested pooling the efforts together to save taxpayer money.  Council President Clay Yarborough told Action News any plans for cameras have to be closely examined.

“Surveillance cameras can do certain things, staff members can do certain things,” Yarborough said. “It's really trying to find a balance of what's appropriate depending on what the need is.”

JSO has not revealed the number of cameras that will be installed and the exact streets those cameras will be watching.  JSO is also looking a system from ShotSpotter, which promises to track gunshots in real time.