ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Surveillance is expanding in the downtown St. Augustine area.
The National Park Service is partnering up with the St. Augustine Police Department and Flagler College to make the streets safer for visitors by expanding surveillance in the downtown area.
There are currently 14 surveillance cameras up and running. The St. Augustine Police Department said they plan to add five more to crowded parts of the city.
Police said they are hoping the cameras will make people think twice before committing a crime.
The surveillance cameras use a wireless system called Wildfire, which is already operating thanks to local partners. The city’s dispatch center serves as the control room, with eyes on different parts of the city all day, every day.
“If we get reports of crimes and stuff like that, we won’t necessarily be watching it 24/7,” assistant chief Anthony Cuthbert said. “But at least we will have the ability to go back and look on the cameras and identify crimes, suspect’s vehicles (and) those kinds of things.”
Owner of The Pirate Haus Inn Conrad Matt said he is all for the added surveillance. He said he thinks it’s important to make the city’s visitors feel safe and comfortable.
“If somebody gets up and decides to urinate against the wall or something like that, at least we know who it is,” The Pirate Haus Inn owner Conrad Matt said. “I think it’s a great idea.”
Matt told News4Jax that he’s already installed cameras outside his business to keep an eye on things.
The National Park Service invested around $40,000 for the 14 cameras that are already up and running around the city. The city has invested about $7,000 dollars in the system.
The police department said it eventually wants to expand the surveillance all across the city, and hope private businesses will hop on board.