Iowa City's pedestrian mall to get surveillance cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City's pedestrian mall to get surveillance cameras

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Leah Cohen, president of Iowa City's Downtown Association, hopes that by placing eight security cameras around the ped mall, it will be a safer place.

"This is strictly a private program, to see if in the future the city and the police department wants to look at a large federal grant to put it throughout the downtown area," said Cohen.

It's an idea that the Iowa City Police Department has been interested in, but one that a tight city budget wouldn't allow. Private funds will now cover the $37,000 dollar pilot project. Some people, like John Rogers of Iowa City, like the idea.

"We're on camera all the time...and when I shop in a store I'm on camera, so I don't really object to that as an intrusion of my rights."

Others are weary of how the cameras would really be used.

"Just used to accumulate evidence, it might be a good thing," one man told us. "But if it's used to monitor people, I think it would be a violation of civil rights."

Cohen says a lot of downtown business owners already have cameras posted inside and outside their properties. Additional cameras may help police investigations of downtown assaults.

The Downtown Association is still in process of finding business owners who want to participate in the project.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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