PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) - A property owner in downtown Pontiac is working on creating a surveillance system modeled after Detroit's Project Green Light in an attempt to make the community safer.
Brian Carr is there Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. watching the cameras monitoring everything in downtown Pontiac. Anytime he steps away, he can access them with his phone.
Perps in the city are getting caught on camera like in one instance when a suspect was seen breaking into a store. While the alarm sounds, the suspect rifles around. Then, a clue.
"On the way out, he dropped a glove," said Tim Shepard. "Now if we didn't have the cameras, nobody would have known that he dropped a glove on the floor because it was not anywhere near where he had stolen the money. So now they are using that as evidence and the idea is, to pull DNA out of that glove."
There's another case where Tim Shepard can see a guy in the building he owns walking out with a bike that is not his. He says the man was caught all because of this new camera initiative.
"The objective is to be the safest city in Michigan and it will happen," Shepard said. "We want everybody to know about it... doing the crime in the first place."
The downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group is putting up cameras focusing on downtown and the Woodward loop. Each business that signs up pays for a camera system, usually with two to four cameras.
And Brian Carr is back there watching. When he's not, the cameras are rolling and recording.
Some folks would say they don't like being surveilled.
"We're not big brother, we're not sharing it with the government for one thing," said Shepard. "This is all stuff that is done on a private level."
The group also does foot patrols. They think all of this can make everyone safer in Pontiac.
"There are three camera system types ranging in price from $1,500 to $4,000 dollars. The cost varies per customer.
For more information contact Brian Carr: Brian.email@example.com
WEB EXTRA: The new proposed project would be to focus on the safety of business owners, employees, guests and visitors of the community and to work in cooperation with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department to bring a new perception of the resurgence of the Downtown Pontiac Business District. (areas of coverage inside the Woodward Loop) The project is aimed to keep costs to business owners low and affordable to either upgrade or have new system installed on their properties and monitored at our main monitoring station located at the Riker Main Surveillance Center. Our primary requirement is that each participating group member will have surveillance camera coverage of their streets and sidewalks so that in the event of a crime being committed, we will have any and all incidents recorded 24 hours a day. For many of the business owners each location will only require up to 2 to 4 cameras to cover their property. Each business owner will also have the option to have interior cameras installed if they choose too. (Not mandatory for participation in the group) Our primary goal is to have our streets and sidewalks monitored 24 hours a day.
Part of the proposal would be similar to Downtown Detroit’s "Project Green Light Detroit"
PROJECT GREEN LIGHT DETROIT is the first public-private-community partnership of its kind, blending a mix of real-time crime-fighting and community policing aimed at improving neighborhood safety, promoting the revitalization and growth of local businesses, and strengthening DPD’s efforts to deter, identify, and solve crime. Their initial eight Project Green Light Detroit Partners have all installed, and will maintain, a number of high-definition (1080p) indoor and outdoor cameras. The stations also all upgraded to high-speed network connections capable of allowing for consistent video streaming to
DPD. Moreover, the stations also have agreed to provide adequate lighting on all parts of their properties — and to making other improvements as needed to ensure that their stations are customer- friendly, safe, and inviting.
If the majority of the businesses in the Downtown Pontiac Business District participated in a similar project, the impact and perception of Downtown Pontiac would greatly improve, thus improving the incentive for more businesses to thrive and grow in the City of Pontiac.
• To work in cooperation with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department to monitor and provide foot patrol service in the Downtown Business District to detour crime and the ongoing problem with vagrants, theft, vandalism and other associated crimes within the Downtown Business District.
• Assist visitors with questions or concerns and to help create a more safe and prosperous Downtown Pontiac Business District.
• Install surveillance camera systems for the participating businesses in the downtown Pontiac Business District (at affordable costs)
• Monitor all participating businesses in the Downtown Pontiac Business District from the main monitoring station located at the Riker building. Surveillance will also be provided with the Sheriff’s department including, but not limited to emergencies and other exigent circumstances.
• Work in cooperation with the Oakland County Sheriff’s department to assist with ongoing investigations as needed.
• Establish a good rapport with the Downtown Pontiac Business owners and employees to act as a liaison officer in cooperation with Main Street Pontiac.
• Does the program require internet?
Yes, Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group requires a dedicated internet service with Internet speeds at a minimum of 10/10. Approximate cost for the 10/10 package is $180/month.
• Can I use my existing camera system as part of the Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group?
Yes. Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group requires high definition cameras (1080p or higher) that are designated for the program. Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group cameras are not meant to replace your existing camera system. You can link your existing camera system to Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group if your current system has the functionality and meets the requirements for the group.
• What do you pay the city?
You do not pay the city any money to participate in the Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group. The group is a
public-private-community partnership-based program between local business owners.
• Does enrollment in this program mean my business gets special attention?
Yes. Enrollment in Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group requires representatives of the Sheriff’s department and/or Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group personnel to visit your site on a weekly basis. Dispatch will be notified that your business is enrolled in Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group as soon as your site goes live. In the event of an emergency, businesses are required to call 911, and sheriff’s department is immediately notified of the incident at a Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group location. The run is considered a Priority 1.
This proposed endeavor has been a collaborative effort with businesses that are currently in Downtown Pontiac including Daniela Walters with Main Street Pontiac, Dobrusin Law Firm, Mark Hillman with Maddog Technology, Unified Communications, Metro Wireless, Tim Shepard with The Riker Building, John Bry with Main Street Oakland County Catherine Abad with Oakland County Senior Business Accountant and Bill Sullivan with Flagstar Bank’s “Pontiac’s Big Idea” Grant Program
Discussions with Sheriff’s Department are still required for participation with this project. Approvals must be
met before official launch of the Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group by the Sheriff’s Department.