Salt Lake City police are crediting surveillance cameras for having a very positive effect in the reduction of drug deals at Pioneer Park. Since the cameras went up last February and the police department began advertising that the area was under constant surveillance, calls for assistance at the park have been cut in half.
While the officers were called out 971 times in 2007, they have been called out just 478 times so far this year, a reduction of roughly 10 calls per month. According to Salt Lake City police Sgt. Robin Snyder, the number of arrests has also dropped from roughly 1,000 to 600. Surveillance has given the police multiple connections to the drug community and allowed them to increase their efficiency in neutralizing them, in a way they couldn’t have before.
“What we’ve really seen it drop in is drug dealing,” Snyder said, adding that since February officers have only made a couple of drug arrests.”It may push into other areas, but it has inconvenienced the drug dealers. If nothing else, they’re losing some of their customers.”
While business owner Ron Martensen understands the steps the police department is taking, he believes the drug problem is just going to crop up in another place.
“I think that’s the whole thing with–the camera is a great indicator it’s just going to move somewhere else,” Martensen said. “We’d have people standing directly in front of our door. The door opened outward, so you couldn’t open the door without hitting them.”
For their part, police believe that by continuing to use these surveillance cameras they can combat the drug problem spreading to other areas. However they say that there are no plans at this time to install additional cameras in other areas of the city. (Via KSL)