Cameras installed to help combat crime in Ypsilanti Township

Some neighbors think cameras are invasion of privacy

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Controversy is swirling around an Ypsilanti Township neighborhood as officials put up more cameras to help combat crime.

Ypsilanti Township already put up cameras in the West Will neighborhood, and the results were good. After getting feedback from other neighborhoods, the township is ready to put up more cameras to expand the reach.

The cameras are mounted in strategic spots, and the feed goes right into the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.

"We had a few home break-ins, a couple on this street," said Russell Sizemore. "We had an attempted home invasion over on Redlee."

Sizemore said the township's camera expansion is a good move.

"Maybe when the word gets out, it will certainly discourage them," he said. "I think it will make them think twice."

Cameras went up in the West Willow neighborhood five years ago, and crime stats went down. Law enforcement officials said the cameras are an effective tool in that trend.

But some neighbors think the cameras are an invasion of privacy.

"Who is sitting behind the cameras?" Chris Dindoffer asked. "You know, I've had a lot of issues with the township doing things they shouldn't, and I'll leave it at that."

The Sheriff's Department said the cameras can't zoom into homes.

A significant majority of Holmes Road neighbors want the cameras, so they'll be put up.

Jeffrey Barber said he's all for it if it helps keep his children and older relatives safe.

"I make sure they come first before anything," Barber said. "I'd rather for them to be in a safe zone, a safe environment."

The cameras will be paid for with a combination of township funds and a special assessment on neighbors.

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