YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Police Department is taking new measures to fight crime in the city, and they’re using technology to do it.
The Youngstown safety committee met Thursday to discuss the city getting new street surveillance cameras. Police Chief Carl Davis says the project was actually started before he was appointed but was pushed back because of the pandemic.
“We’re in the final process right now. There are a couple of more steps, and these cameras will be in place,” Chief Davis said.
In total, 15 cameras will be put up around town, but the exact locations won’t be disclosed.
“This is just another layer to addressing public safety and an increase in crime in the city of Youngstown. We will have surveillance cameras throughout the city. Especially, particularly in those neighborhoods that we’ve noticed an increase in crime,” Chief Davis said.
The chief says the cameras were paid for with CDBG funds. The cameras won’t be used for traffic violations but will benefit the police department in other crime-related areas.
The safety committee also discussed the possibility of the city getting drones. Sixth Ward Councilwoman Anita Davis said drones would make an enormous impact in helping the city not only fight crime but to keep people safe as well.
“The fire services use these things. They have thermo-imaging capabilities. For instance, in the wintertime, you have someone who’s lost out there and it’s cold outside, they’re gonna glow in the dark. That’s how thermo-imaging is. So there’s so many practical uses for this, on a day-to-day basis,” Councilwoman Davis said.
The thermo-imaging of the drones could even potentially locate a person trapped inside a burning home or building.
The drones could also work in conjunction with the Shotspotters in the city for reports of gunfire and for police pursuits.
“So that instead of maintaining this pursuit on the ground, you also have a set of eyes up in the sky, and you know what’s in front of you,” Councilwoman Davis said.
Another meeting will be held where three different types of drones will be presented to choose from, then the matter will go before city council to vote on whether or not to approve funding for the drones. Councilwoman Davis says each drone would cost around $10,000. The number of drones the city gets will depend on how much funding gets approved by council.
As for the street cameras, Chief Davis says they hope to have them up and running in the upcoming weeks.