Grants Pass, Ore., — “Used to be a circus. Definitely. For drug users and transients.”
Mike Clough is the manager of Ewing Irrigation in Grants Pass.
Before the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety put a security camera system in front of their downtown store, he says crime was prominent, and affecting business.
“People would just drive on by when they’d see. In the mornings it was especially bad, because we’d see them camped out in our doorways.” said Clough.
The company has personal security cameras, but none in front of the building.
Now six months after police installed their camera, Clough says they’ve seen a huge difference.
“Much cleaner, the graffiti has stopped, no trash around our doors, and other things.”
The camera system has been in place for about five years, and there are 18 different cameras around the city.
GPDPS says though they’re difficult to monitor, the cameras are in plain sight, and that’s the point.
“Just altering the behavior, letting people know that they can’t be aggressive or commit crimes, without them being noticed.” said Sergeant Edward Burke.
And when police feel it’s necessary – they move the cameras to different spots.
Like this one, which was placed in front of the Josephine County Court House just last week.
“We had reports of various people you know smoking, drinking, and not being very nice to the citizens walking through to the courthouse.” said Sgt. Burke.
And as businesses have been taking note of the program’s success, Sgt. Burke says many are buying their own cameras, and hoping they too get similar results.
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