WEST PALM BEACH, Fla— Earlier this week West Palm Beach City Commissioners approved a police department request for 56 new surveillance cameras. The move comes with a $784,670 price tag, but it’s all in an effort to reduce violent crime.
“As technology improves we want to try and leverage that to the best of our ability in order to create a safe and secure environment in the city,” said West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney.
Over the next few months, the police department will work with the city’s IT department to install the cameras in key areas like Rosemary Square and Clematis Street.
“They can get on the radio and tell officers in the field responding before they get there what they are seeing,” said Chief Mooney.
This isn’t the first time the department has utilized camera technology to help its officers. Within the past two years, the city has invested in Shot Spotter technology to track gun shots, installed a real-time crime center and currently has several cameras in use.
However, you may recall in 2015 the department initially took the blame for the city’s security cameras not working properly after a man was murdered near Dunbar Village and nearby cameras didn’t pick it up. Yet, days later city officials apologized and said it was an IT department failure.
“Technology is going to continue to expand and upgrade so as it does we have to be fluid,” said Chief Mooney.
The recent purchase is for newer equipment compared to what the city was using in 2015. The goal is to get it up and running by the end of this summer.