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Downtown Cameras: Big Brother or Safety

By Mireya Garcia
Published On: Mar 13 2012 07:19:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 13 2012 07:51:36 AM CDT
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The issue of installing government security cameras in downtown Colorado Springs was up for debate in Colorado Springs City Council during Tuesday's public hearing.

The Colorado Springs Police Department presented their request to council and the public. CSPD is asking for 10 cameras to be installed in the downtown area at a cost of $188,000 and an addition $25,000 dollars a year for camera maintenance.

Police Chief Pete Carey says the cameras will help with safety, and are a way to cope with not having more officers to send out on downtown patrols.

The majority of the people that spoke before council gave the city leaders a loud resounding "no" as their opinion on the installation of the cameras. Most indicated, issues of civil liberties and the cost as reasons for not approving of the initiative.

"If that is what you want to happen in downtown Colorado Springs, I will not be coming down. I will not come down here if you have cameras down here," said John Stoner, who is against the cameras.

Many business owners and city leaders in the downtown area said they are in favor of the cameras because they believe business there is being hurt by an increase in crime.

"We are losing shopkeepers. We are losing a lot of tenants in the buildings. There is a concern about safety and security," said Chuck Murphy with the Downtown Solutions Team, who favors the cameras.

No decision was scheduled for today. Council said it only wanted to hear the public's thoughts on the issue. A vote by council will come after a second public hearing that is set for two weeks from now.

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