General Crime

* Richmond Plans to Install New Surveillance Cameras to Curb Crime

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Representatives of the Richmond Police Department, community and business groups today celebrated the planned installation of new surveillance cameras meant to reduce crime at the city’s 23rd Street shopping area, a spokesman said. Police Capt. Mark Gagan and members of the 23rd Street Merchants Association and the 4Richmond Coalition held a news conference at a building on 23rd Street to hail the new devices they hope will help police observe and respond to crimes in the area, said Don Lau, chairman of 4Richmond.

Lau said 23rd Street is one of Richmond’s important economic areas, with restaurants, stores and other businesses. “It’s a matter of identifying the need for extra surveillance,” said Lau, whose group is made up of business people, labor leaders and citizens seeking ways to make Richmond a safer city. The four new overhead cameras, to be installed within one to two months, will add to the 40 surveillance cameras the city now has that are monitored live, 24 hours a day by retired police officers, Lau said. “They will give us 44 different sets of eyes across the city of Richmond,” Lau said.

The cameras had been donated to the city by the Chervon Corp. a few years back and had never been installed due to a lack of needed wiring, but the problem has been solved, Lau said. The city is grateful to have the extra cameras because it can’t afford to buy new ones, Lau said.

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