St. Louis Plans to Install Surveillance Cameras Downtown


St. Louis police will begin installing a network of surveillance cameras downtown after an FBI index release showed high crime numbers for the city.

The downtown project will cost $300,000 and will include eight wireless pant/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) cameras. The system is being funded with asset forfeiture money, plus a $100,000 grant from St. Louis County, the St. Louis Post reported. City officials traveled to Baltimore and Chicago to research their surveillance system.

The cameras will feed images to a monitoring station downtown. The video will be monitored by civilians – not police – but they will call police once suspicious activity has been captured, the newspaper reported.

“The key to any video camera system is monitoring the cameras live,” St. Louis Assistant Chief Stephen Pollihan told the newspaper. “The cameras are not silver bullets. They do not take the place of a police officer, but they do add another layer of security.”

The Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit group, will pay staff to monitor the cameras by day and during events downtown, Ken Gabel, manager of safety programs, told the newspaper.

“Throughout this entire project, they’re going to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected,” Gabel says.

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