King James wants the Moody Manor to be a safer place for his family to live.
The 38-year-old Toledoan has lived in the central city apartment complex since 1980, and will probably be there for awhile longer.
Safety, he said, doesn’t mean installing more surveillance cameras around the Kent Street complex, although the 41 new cameras, which feed into the Toledo Police Department's Real Time Crime Center, were the subject of a news conference Monday afternoon.
“It’s invading your privacy,” Mr. James said. “It’s not doing anything.”
But police said the cameras — not just the ones at the Moody Manor, but elsewhere — are driving down crime.
“We feel it’s an extremely effective tool in this city to help reduce crime,” said police Capt. Michael Troendle about the cameras and data-driven policing initiative.
The cameras at the Moody Manor were paid for by the Vistula Management Co., which oversees the Manor and other properties in Toledo. The cost of the cameras was not provided at the news conference.
Violence that has, historically, plagued the apartment complex — including the shooting death of a 1-year-old girl in August, 2012 — prompted security upgrades to the facilities.
“We did learn something from a tragedy,” said Mayor Mike Bell. “When we were dealing with the Moody Manor issues, that was a really bad, bad, bad day and what we vowed to do is try to make the quality of life there better, and by working together, we’re now able to create an environment that will make people feel safer.”
Management officials also installed new lights to deter crime.
They hope the new cameras, which feature blue-flashing lights and the Toledo police logo, will deter trouble makers from finding their way onto the property.
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One of the city’s most notorious gangs, the Manor Boyz, Bloods, claims the apartment complex as their home base, although most of the members do not actually live in any of the apartments.
Dirk Kramer, director of public safety for Vistula, said he hopes the cameras will make gang members think twice about doing their business there.
The cameras started going up in August, but became part of the police surveillance program Wednesday.
Of the 41 cameras, 18 are outside in “strategic locations.” The others are in common areas inside the various buildings.
Police Chief Derrick Diggs said other private entities have approached the police department about installing cameras and tapping into the surveillance system, although he declined to provide specific details.
The chief and mayor are in the last days of their tenures and, come Jan. 3, will be replaced by Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins and Lt. William Moton.
Mr. Collins did not return a message seeking comment about his plans for the crime cameras.
Mr. James said he hopes Mr. Collins and Lieutenant Moton will change the way business is done at the Moody Manor by assigning an officer to walk around the neighborhood and talk to residents.
“People themselves don’t stop other people from bad things happening, cameras won’t either,” he said. “We need human contact. ... The cameras can never show you the truth, only a glimpse of what happened.”
Captain Troendle said police and Moody Manor management will both be able to monitor the cameras at the same time without interfering with the other.
Chief Diggs said safety initiatives at the Moody Manor are a “top priority” because of the shooting that killed Keondra Hooks and wounded her 2-year-old sister, Leondra Hooks.