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Chief Collins wants eyes on the city; recommends security cameras

Brookhaven’s top cop is asking for homeowners and businesses to “step into the future” and make an investment into keeping the city safe.

Police Chief Kenneth Collins would like to see every building in the city protected by video surveillance.

“We’re asking all business owners, if they don’t have them already installed, if they can, if they can find it in their budget, to install outside cameras on the surrounding areas of their businesses if they can,” he said. “If they can’t do it all at one time, put in a couple of cameras every year, so we can step into the future, because if someone commits a crime, I want somebody’s camera around these businesses in the downtown area to pick them up and help us solve these crimes.”

He’s making the same plea to residents.

“Homeowners, install outside cameras if you can, if you can find it in your budget,” he said.

He considers the purchase of video surveillance to be an investment into the city.

“I’m asking that if they can find it in their budget to make an investment in Brookhaven because a safer town is a town that more people will want to come to and business will move to,” he said.

“We can’t stop every crime but we can try to catch them and these cameras will be a great addition to helping us maybe getting information on the people that commit these crimes or getting the public’s help if we can put their pictures out here,” he said. “Only by working together will we keep Brookhaven safe.”

Collins understands that cost can be a factor, but he said systems are much more affordable now.

“I know everybody don’t have the money to do it but If they can invest a little bit at a time then we can step into the future here in the technology in Brookhaven,” he said. “It would help us in solving a lot of these crimes because sometimes it might be a blurred picture but the person that knows that person soon as they see that person if they know them they’ll know who it is.”

He said cameras that work through motion detection and that can film at night are the best choices.

Zach Morace, a security technician with Brown Electric in Brookhaen, said bumping up security through camera surveillance is a good idea.

Newer systems have become more affordable for home and business owners, especially if tackled as a DIY project.

Kits are available for the do-it-yourselfer for a few hundred dollars. The cost depends on the clarity of the images — better photos cost more to capture.

“If you’re trying to read license plates, cameras like that are going to be expensive because they’ve got to have a higher video quality,  but if you’re just trying to get a basic mom-and-pop camera system for your house or outside your business, they’re very affordable, a couple hundred dollars in a kit,” he said.

For those doing their own installation, Morace suggests hiding the wires so criminals won’t notice the cameras or be able to disable them.

“If they (the criminals) come up and cut a camera wire, your camera’s no good,” he said.

Collins wants to see residents and business owners work together to crack down on crime.

“If every community can chip in and do a little bit we can become powerful. Power is when everybody works together,” he said. “If we’re going to be the Home Seekers Paradise, we have to do everything we can to make our city safe.”