After a rash of property crimes impacted the community during the fall of 2019 Mayor Hansen announced plans to develop “The Neighborhood is Watching” program. The program involves installing mobile security cameras in hot spot areas throughout the community. Several communities in Iowa have security camera programs and have experienced success at reducing crime through deterrence and increased prosecutions due to increased access to video evidence. Mobile security cameras are a force multiplier as they provide an extra set of eyes on an area when law enforcement cannot be present. Mobile security cameras operate off of cellular data plans and only require electricity to operate once mounted to a utility pole. They can be easily moved wherever they are needed in the community without the need for expensive infrastructure.
Camera locations will be determined based on an analysis of crime data as well as complaints from residents within specific neighborhoods. Once installed, the camera views are focused on the public roadway and/or public right-of-way and will record movements in those specific area in an effort to deter criminal activity. The cameras can be used during large community events and can also be used to analyze traffic patterns for traffic safety committee considerations.