Fayetteville sets up police surveillance cameras in time for Dogwood Festival

Fayetteville police now have an extra eye in the sky to fight crime.
April 22, 2014 1:17:02 PM PDT
All eyes will be on Fayetteville this weekend for the annual Dogwood Festival, and extra eyes will be watching out for crime.

It will be the first test of the Fayetteville Police Department's surveillance cameras, which were installed last week.

You might not notice them, but they are watching you. Angela Touron is not sure if she likes it.

"You don't want somebody watching you all the time, but then it could help cut down on crime," said Touron.

That's the plan behind ten new police-run surveillance cameras going up around downtown Fayetteville. Most of them are at Festival Park just in time for the Dogwood Festival.

"We are expecting over 200,000 people over the three days," said Carrie King, with the Dogwood Festival.

Last year, a small army of officers patrolled the park during the festival. They relied on their police radios to report and respond to trouble.

"I think if anything it's going to give our patrons a heightened sense of security," said King.

The police have not tried to hide or camouflage the cameras. In fact, they want them in plain sight so that people will know they are there. The cameras will feed video to a crime information center at the police department.

"So, now you are going to have an extra pair of eyes that's going to be fed into our crime information center," said Fayetteville Police Officer Antoine Kincade. "Then fed back to our officers in real time."

"I'm OK with the cameras," said professional photographer Amber Fite.

Fite often uses the park's trees and flowers as a backdrop. She likes the idea of having someone watching her back.

"I've never had trouble down here, but I know other people who have," said Fite.

Police say additional cameras are planned in the downtown area. It's increased security which lets visitors like Jessica Rogers enjoy a stroll along the downtown streets.

"I think it's fantastic to come down here and feel you are safe," said Rogers.

A federal grant helped pay for the cameras.

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