Three additional surveillance cameras will be installed in Toledo’s north end to help combat neighborhood crime.
Police Chief Derrick Diggs promised the new cameras at a ONE Village Council meeting Tuesday night at the Bush Street YMCA, where about 30 residents and council members expressed concerns about a high level of crime and to request the extra cameras.
The chief agreed to provide three cameras at Magnolia and North Ontario streets, North Ontario and Bush streets, and Chestnut and North Erie streets. He did not give a date for the installation, but assured residents that he will provide them as soon as possible.
The council had asked Chief Diggs to install four surveillance cameras at Bush and North Ontario, and on Magnolia at North Michigan Street, North Superior Street, and Ontario.
Residents also called for a foot patrol of two police officers who would survey the area for one hour at the beginning or end of their shifts. Chief Diggs said he will look into the request but could not make any guarantees because of a lack of manpower.
“I do believe in foot patrols, but if I don’t have the officers, I don’t want to promise ... something I can’t deliver,” the police chief said. “We’re going to have to get back to our 700 numbers before we start getting more foot patrols.”
The Toledo police department currently has 585 officers, he said.
Only the downtown area has a foot patrol, in which a Toledo police officer and a Lucas County sheriff’s deputy walk the area.
“I’m happy with the results of the meeting,” said Adita Miller, a ONE Village board member. “But we’re still working on the foot patrol and getting the police involved for our safety.”
Sgt. Joe Heffernan said he was aware of 77 cameras that have been installed around Toledo. When installation of the $1.6 million project is complete, 150 to 160 cameras will keep an eye on the city.
“People want more cameras in their neighborhoods because it works,” the sergeant said before the meeting.
Critics have said the crime doesn’t drop, it just relocates.
“That’s a debatable stance, but one thing that I don’t think anybody argues with, where that camera is up, crime goes down,” Sergeant Heffernan said.
Resident Carl VanNorman, 51, said the north end is a robbery hot spot.
“They tried to rob my cousin about a year ago, and my friend got robbed going down Magnolia and Huron,” said Mr. VanNorman, who lives on Erie Street. “You’ve got young kids out there at one o’clock in the morning. I’d like to see a lot more cops out on the road, on Erie Street especially.”
The ONE Village Council and North Toledo residents will reconvene at the YMCA on Aug. 15 to discuss infrastructure, abandoned houses, street safety, and the need for a foot patrol, Ms. Miller said.
Staff writer Taylor Dungjen contributed to this report.
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