Security camera pilot program could bring more surveillance to Washington Street in Davenport

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After getting calls from businesses about wanting more security in their area, parts of Washington Street in Davenport may soon get some extra help. Security cameras may be added as part of a new program that would then be expanded if it's seen as a success.

Some of the businesses along Washington Street have spoken to police, and have even reached out to WQAD News 8 over the past few months, about seeing suspicious activity, but they'd have nothing to go on because there wasn't an image or video to see. Cameras are up, but there could soon be more.

The Davenport City Council will soon discuss the costs and regulations behind a new security camera pilot program. If it's approved, it would add 18 to 20 cameras along Washington Street between Locust Street and Clay Street, a half-mile stretch of road that would get the extra security. It's actually part of a full list of upgrades that Washington Street would get over the next year through a new revitalization effort.

"It's a much more intensive process, or a much more heavily focused area. So, instead of just putting one or two cameras in a location, a much more significant amount will be able to catch any number of things," Clay Merritt with Davenport Public Works said.

The cameras are a welcomed sight to businesses who want to have fewer police calls to the area, but it's also a big plus for city leaders wanting to test out something new.

"If the number of calls for the area goes down, that would obviously be a success. What we're also looking to do is test the equipment and the software and the back end support to make sure that all works properly, because we are looking to expand that out to different parts of the city," Merritt said.

The cameras wouldn't be installed until spring of 2017, but Davenport city leaders will need to discuss cost and the new rules before they get to that point.

The pilot program was initially set to be discussed during the Committee of the Whole meeting this week in Davenport, but will instead be brought up at a later date, which could be as early as next week.