Downtown Pontiac hopes to have more than 200 cameras in place by the end of summer

If you commit a crime in downtown Pontiac today, there is a good chance police will catch you, on camera.

Officials announced that the city will be expanding its surveillance camera program and hopes to have more than 200 in place by the end of the summer. 

The Nonprofit organization, Main Street Pontiac, hopes the cameras can help revitalize downtown and make citizens feel more safe. 

“People have should have a reason to come down here, without just trying to pass through it,” said Main Street Pontiac member Courtney Tyll. 

Brain Carr, the man who basically runs the group, just got $10,000 from a grant to expand the operation. 

“Currently we are packed out in our current surveillance center that we are in right now,” Carr said. 

Carr’s goal is to get 250 cameras installed by the end of 2019, but his desire is to cover 80 percent of downtown with surveillance. 

“We’re seeing clean streets and we’re seeing people not out asking for change,” Carr said.

Probably the most interesting thing about this project is that Carr is working with a company to use cameras for facial and license plate recognition. They are even planning to use artificial intelligence. 

“These computers are looking to see if there is a suspicious event going on,” said Mark Shwartz of Kevadiya. “We can decide or they can decide if there is something going on.” 

The estimate cost for this project to get set up ranges from $4,000-$15,000 and there is a $50 fee every month for the monitoring and surveillance. However, a lot of citizens believe that it’s worth it.