JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Security cameras around Jacksonville Beach that originally went up after 9/11 thanks to a federal Homeland Security grant are getting a needed update, police told News4Jax.
The outdated cameras are being replaced with new technology that will provide exceptional coverage, officials said.
News4Jax spotted cameras being installed Tuesday at the top of poles around the Downtown business district of Jacksonville Beach, near Surfer the Bar and the Seawalk Pavilion.
A plaque not far away was placed in remembrance of Glen McNeil Jr., 23, who was shot and killed in the area after a Fourth of July celebration last year. Javoris Price, 18, has been charged with McNeil's murder.
Police department officials said they hope the new cameras will help lower the amount of crime and possibly provide video evidence when crimes are committed.
People who live and work in the area, like Erica Jones, said they like the idea of improving the security technology.
“I think it’s just more safety for the public,” Jones said. “I mean, everybody has cars here. There’s break-ins. Some people just walk on up into the offices, so I think it’s good.”
People visiting Jacksonville Beach on Tuesday also said they like having cameras around town.
“If that makes the place a little safer and people more aware of what they’re doing, then that is a good thing, so I’m all for it,” said Halina Stopyra, who was visiting from Toronto.
The cameras are going up throughout the city of Jacksonville Beach, many at popular spots like the pier. There will also be one at Latham Plaza and City Hall, at Oceanfront Park and outside of Cradle Creek Preserve.
The rest will be spread throughout the city at various public locations, including more parks and city buildings, streets and walkways. A police department spokesperson said the cameras are intended to be monitored 24/7.
Police declined to say exactly how many cameras are being put in place, because Homeland Security is involved. The chief said one camera could have as many as four lenses, which would act as four cameras.
Any older cameras around town will likely be replaced with one of the newer cameras. Installation began at the police department in December, and officials hope to have all of the new cameras up and running by mid-February.