Posted: Apr 14, 2010 6:30 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Apr 14, 2010 6:30 PM
If you're walking down the street in Erath...smile, because most likely you'll be on camera.
Erath police chief, Gerald Hebert, says that up to 17 different camera shots throughout the city can be shown on one monitor at the police station control center.
The city received grant money totaling $105,000 to spend however they please.
One Erath resident said, "We need more things but if they think this is the best, then I'm down for it."
With a population of just more than 3,000 people...you may be asking yourself why they chose to install cameras.
Chief Hebert says he has good reason.
"I choose to go with the video patrol because with the video cameras, it was like adding an additional 4 or 5 officers on my staff without the payroll," Hebert said.
Twenty-eight surveillance cameras will be installed throughout the city, but the main focus is on the downtown
"We started looking at the different businesses we had around town and tried to focus on as many as we could with the money," Hebert said.
Gerald Libersat has been in business in downtown Erath since 1964. He says even though crime isn't high in the city...the camera's will be especially helpful at night.
"At night there's a lot of traffic hanging around here, the kids hanging around here in the parking lot, Libersat said. “Some people go make deposits late, so this way they can see it all."
City officials say the only thing they're trying to catch on camera is criminals, so there’s no need to worry about getting a ticket for running a red light or failing to stop where the camera’s monitor.
Chief Hebert said, “This is not about trying to get people creating or violating traffic incidences.”
The new security system is made possible with no additional cost to the community.
The surveillance system in the city is unique because it’s monitored solely by the dispatcher at the police station.