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Eyes in the sky: $100K surveillance cameras to go up around Macon

Photo: Tiffany Thompson (WGXA)
Photo: Tiffany Thompson (WGXA)
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MACON, Ga. -- Bibb County commissioners have approved a resolution giving sheriff's deputies eyes in the sky.

The first spot for these high-tech surveillance cameras could be in downtown Macon. And Sheriff David Davis and Commissioner Virgil Watkins add the cameras will be placed on Georgia Power poles in highly-populated areas.

"Talking about putting some in downtown, some other high-up density areas where nefarious activities may happen, or where really nothing happens. You can watch traffic, but it's more for just watching an area where people congregate like you have in downtown," says Davis.

But leaders say downtown may be just the place to start this project, which has been in the works for some time.

During Tuesday's commission meeting, officials approved the resolution authorizing a service agreement between Macon-Bibb County and Georgia Power for the surveillance cameras.

"For Georgia Power, think of it as an additional feature on the light pole they provide. Alright so now in addition to lights, they can also put cameras on those poles. They're committed to maintaining those cameras the same way they do lights. If a light breaks, they come fix it. So if a camera breaks, or gets shot they fix it," says Watkins.

Watkins says it would cost at least $100,000 per year to get these cameras up and running, while the cost to lease and maintain each camera would be about $200 per month. Sheriff Davis believes they'll deter crime and help solve cases faster.

"They cover all maintenance. If they tear up or either, occasionally when they get worn out, they'll come in and replace them," says Watkins.

Leaders say the end goal is for Macon-Bibb to have 30 surveillance cameras in different locations, but Davis says they'll have to build up to this.

"I know other communities have seen success with varieties of crimes in particular the property crimes, armed robberies, that you see occurring," says Davis.

The Sheriff adds that he plans on leasing these cameras instead of owning them to make the process of maintenance easier. According to the resoluation passed this week, the money for these cameras would come from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office commissionary fund, as well as Macon-Bibb County's general fund.

You can read the resolution here or below:

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