Police push to expand, upgrade Oceanfront cameras

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Updated Monday, May 6 at 6:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - 13News has learned Oceanfront cameras are outdated and police say there are not enough cameras.

Police say some of the violent crimes from College Beach weekend were not caught on camera or the video quality isn’t good enough to help identify suspects.

The cameras, installed years ago, are not digital, which means police cannot zoom in on recorded video to get a closer look at potential suspects.

“If you sit there and start scanning the crowd, you can’t necessarily see who fired shots,” Grazia Moyers explained.

There are 19 cameras at the Oceanfront. Most of them on Atlantic Avenue and at the Boardwalk. There are also cameras monitoring traffic at 22nd Street. Police say two of the cameras are disabled and the officer was unable to read their location and the 19th camera is the parking lot of the Second Precinct.

Officers would like to increase that number to 90 cameras at the Oceanfront to cover the Boardwalk from Rudee Inlet to 40th Street and the police department estimates that would cost at least $2 million.

That money would have to be approved by City Council.  The idea already has one supporter --  Councilmember Bill DeSteph, who says the cameras would increase safety.

Police request 80 to 100 copies of video from the current cameras each year to help solve crimes such as fights, vandalism and theft.

In October 2012, 13News spoke with Lt. Bob Christman, who mentioned cameras would also be beneficial on Pacific Avenue, Norfolk Avenue, Virginia Beach Boulevard and Laskin Road.

On the WVEC TV13 Facebook page, we asked whether the city should upgrade the cameras. Let us know what you think.

 

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