BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPRROUD) — Dozens of security cameras in Baton Rouge are getting an upgrade.
The new cameras can detect a person’s age, gender, and even the color of a shirt — something they couldn’t do before.
“It can tell us if it’s a car, truck, a bus, a motorcycle, or bicycle,” said BRPD Lt. Bill Clarida. “The initial project covers 19 locations.”
Law enforcement has completed its first phase of upgrading cameras downtown. The goal is to make the downtown area more attractive to potential residents and businesses. The upgrade allows 80 different views of the downtown area.
Nonprofit Baton Rouge Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Foundation raised $100,000 to fund the project.
“These cameras will help for economic growth and development and we are positive that they are going to help residents feel safe,” said District 7 Councilmember LaMont Cole.
North Baton Rouge has been feeling the effects of gun violence all year long.
Cameras near the areas of Gus Young, Dixie, Tigerland and Brookstone neighborhoods will be upgraded in the coming weeks.
“Downtown is in District 10, but so is Dixie. An area that is, in my opinion, almost a third world. In the area in great need in such an initiative as this,” said District 10 Councilmember Carolyn Coleman.
Some North Baton Rouge residents said the new technology can help, but more needs to be done.
“Those cameras really not gonna stop anything. You have people breaking into stores on camera with no mask. You can’t really do anything. The only thing I have to say is the system has to do better,” said one resident.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said the upgrades will help decrease the time in solving crimes. He said nobody should feel like their privacy is being invaded.
“This whole thing of ‘people don’t want them there. They don’t want a camera.’ That is just not true. The truth is people want to feel safe,” he said.
No parts of the project are being funded by city dollars. Upgrading cameras in North Baton Rouge will be done with money from the American Rescue Plan.