West Philadelphia Group Distributing High-Grade Cameras In Effort To Deter Gun Violence

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an effort to deter crime and gun violence in Philadelphia, one group is distributing cameras to businesses and residents.

This is a two-way street. The cameras help residents and business owners feel safe and also help police tackle crime.

Extra pairs of eyes on the streets of West Philadelphia.

Jabari Jones is the president of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative. He is helping businesses and residents get home surveillance cameras in hopes to stop the gun violence and crime plaguing the area.

“We have seen people of all walks of life become victims of gun violence — from seniors to kids to infants,” Jones said.

Jones works with police to find high-crime areas and they select addresses and install them.

“The cameras act as a natural deterrent because when people see there is a camera there they think twice about doing something in that particular area,” Jones said.

He says this project — funded by a state grant — all started following a shooting back in July of 2021 where police say more than 100 shots were fired during a 4th of July cookout. Two people were killed, including a 23-year-old store owner.

“It took the city five months to find those individuals even though they were caught in six different cameras because the cameras were of such low quality,” Jones said.

Now the cameras are crystal clear and have high-grade razor-sharp images.

“The cameras are so clear even at night you get to see everything,” Kevyn Michael said.

Michael, who owns Kevyn Michael Boutique, can access the footage on his smartphone. He says the cameras make him feel safe.

“I believe when criminals know they are being filmed then maybe there will be less crime,” Michael said.

Residents who have them say they feel more protected too.

“I think that it’s a very good process and I would like to see it take place in other areas,” Marilyn White said.

They are looking for more funding to continue this project when the grant money runs out.

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