Cambridge Main Street Installs Cameras Downtown - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cambridge Main Street Installs Cameras Downtown

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One of the cameras in downtown Cambridge (Photo:WBOC) One of the cameras in downtown Cambridge (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- He won't tell us how many there are, or where they are located.  That's best left as a mystery.  But what Cambridge Main Street Executive Director Brandon Hesson will tell WBOC is why his organization has installed several cameras downtown.

"We did a market study in 2009, and the number one answer for phone intercept survey was crime.  That was the key word that kept coming up in 2009.  So even before we had a few isolated incidents downtown recently, crime was something we were kind of tackling already," said Hesson.

Business owners, like Heidi Griebel at The Sunnyside Shop, say the cameras give them peace of mind.

"This gives us a little coverage when there isn't a person on the street actively," Griebel said. "I think it's a deterrent, people are aware of the cameras and will become more aware over time. I think it's a good thing."

Hesson hopes to expand the program if it is successful throughout the entire downtown.  The cameras that have been installed already were in partnership with Bay Country Communications, and used existing fiber optic wiring. 

But some might be concerned the cameras could be similar to the camera's in George Orwell's book 1984, where Big Brother was always watching.  Hesson says that's not the case.

"Big cities everywhere are taking steps like this.  It's a smart investment.  Really in the grand scheme of things, keeping everybody safe is in everybody's best interest.  And this isn't for finding the guy who dropped a cigarette butt on the street, this is for the larger issues," said Hesson.

Hesson said the cameras, should they prove successful, will prevent those larger issues in the first place, and make shoppers feel safe in downtown Cambridge.

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