Ypsilanti Township wants security cameras in every neighborhood

Township leaders say cameras have helped cut back on crime in neighborhoods

By Will Jones - Reporter

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. - For the past few years there has been another set of eyes looking over the West Willow neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township, providing those who live there, such as Tony Slaughter, an added sense of security.

"When they put the security cameras up I kind of thought crime would decrease and it kind of has in a way," he said.

Township leaders say it's a good crime-fighting tool. It has helped police track down a sexual predator who was preying on children. Right now there are 10 security cameras up in certain areas of Ypsilanti Township. Township leaders want security cameras in every neighborhood.

Mike Radzik, the director of the Office of Community Standards, knows for some neighbors it's a hard sell because of privacy concerns.

"We are recording images that a police officer would see if he or she were standing in the same place. They are only in public places," he said.

The township still is working on a cost-effective plan to get the cameras up in more places.

"The township will invest in the infrastructure, actually put the cameras out and deploy them and there will be a special assessment on the homes in the neighborhood for the operating expense going forward, which will be a very nominal fee for this measure of public safety," Radzik.

For Slaughter, now he knows that when he's not keeping watch of his neighborhood, something else is. It's a warning to criminals to stay away.

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