The City of Charleston has 10 surveillance cameras througout the city so police can monitor crime more closely. State Representative Wendell Gilliard was a strong advocate in getting the cameras put on city streets. He says the cameras show that crime is crime, no matter your background, race or gender.
It happens with all creeds, all cultures, whether you have whites coming in black communities buying drugs, blacks coming in white communities to get the drugs, it was still crime. And, I knew that’s what the cameras were going to show the people in our community.
Gilliard and city officials are now looking into the second phase of the video surveillance program. The new proposals would add 22 additional cameras through portions of the city’s East Side, along King and Market Streets. Nearby business owners say the cameras could help their business because customers usually feel safer knowing police are watching.
Gilliard has faced opposition with the program because some say the cameras would invade one’s privacy. However, he says something needed to be done to stop the crime in the city.
We have to make the change for the better, and criticism is going to come whether we like it or not, it’s going to happen. I’m glad to see that our mayor, our city council, has finally brought our community up with the times. It’s all going to work for the benefit of the safety, not only for the community, but also for our law enforcement.
Charleston police say the system will cost an estimated $50,000 a year for Charleston, if approved.