Cameras Reduce Sex Traffic In Parks
(Click here to watch NewsChannel 5's Jeff Tang video report)
Nearly a month ago, surveillance cameras were installed in three Metro parks.
Cameras were installed in Cedar Hill Park, where police arrested 40 people in a sex sting operation last year, as well as Two Rivers and Hamilton Creek parks.
Police intend to use the cameras as deterrents to violations such as public indecency and prostitution.
Metro Park Police said the amount of sex traffic in the parks has decreased substantially since the cameras were installed.
That is refreshing news to park patrons such as Dwayne Bullard who visited Two Rivers Park Friday with his children.
"That's a camera," Bullard said, noticing a camera. "That's a good thing."
Metro Park Police have been monitoring six new cameras.
"We can move them on a whim," said Capt. Eric Snyder. "It's just one of the most powerful resources we've ever had."
They're designed to help crack down on criminals especially men who go to the parks to have sex with each other.
"Soon as these cameras went up, we were very clear, we put signage up, we saw a dramatic decrease," Snyder said.
While the cameras have yet to catch anyone in the act, Snyder said that's because they're scaring potential criminals away.
"These cameras are recording 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Snyder said.
"I think we need cameras like this in every park in the city," said Metro Councilman Michael Craddock.
Craddock helped get funding to install the six cameras.
"What we need to do as a government is think outside of the box," Craddock said. "This is outside of the box and if this works, we need to do more of it."
At Two Rivers Park, mothers and fathers are watching and if they need back up, all they have to do is look up.
"It's keeping surveillance on us and hopefully keeping criminal activity away from her," Bullard said.
"This is about taking this park back and giving it to the people who deserve it," Craddock said.
Police said one of the best parts about these cameras is their portability. They can be moved in a day.
In fact, Metro Park Police are asking the public for help finding the "hotspots" where these cameras are needed.
While many think the cameras help protect children and families, others worry that they are an invasion of privacy.