A special report by The Tremonster
On April 18th, two men were mugged on W. 11th Street. Since then, Tremonsters have seen a rash of carjackings and robberies that have kept friends and customers from visiting our neighborhood and have made some longtime residents consider a move. Cleveland Police have stepped up their efforts, and our city council representatives and Tremont West Development Corporation have convened well-attended meetings to address community concerns.
These efforts have paid off, with the apprehension of criminals who have been targeting Tremont and the re-dedication of our tight-knit community to keeping our neighborhood safe.
But the safety efforts have not stopped there. A grassroots effort to deter future crime began on August 28th when Paul Duda, a Tremont home and business owner who has lived in Tremont for 15 years, launched a GOFUNDME.com campaign for “Security Cameras for Tremont.” Once funded, the project will post crime-deterring signage at Tremont’s neighborhood gateways, install cameras on the homes of volunteers, and expand and maintain an already existing network of neighborhood security cameras.
Why? Duda began explaining his grassroots security movement to The Tremonster by saying, “I like Tremont very much and want to keep our neighborhood beautiful, vibrant, and safe. We all just want the same thing.” Tremonsters have rallied to support the financially transparent, grassroots safety effort. After only seven days, the GOFUNDME.com campaign had attracted 58 individual donations totaling nearly $10,400 of its $30,000 goal.
Where will the money go? The project is set up raise funds exclusively to purchase cameras, defray the cost of professional installation if needed, and maintain the ongoing surveillance network of strategically-placed neighborhood cameras.
Who can participate? All are welcome to help on a volunteer basis. There will be no paid positions, and there will be no individual compensated for expenses incurred. Volunteer camera hosts cover some or all of the cost of professional installation to leave raised project funds for the purchase of as many additional cameras as possible, and for the competitively bid, professional surveillance network maintenance.
For Tremonsters concerned about privacy issues, camera feeds will not be publicly accessible. The only people with access to each feed will be the property owner, a designated safety director, and when needed, the police. Camera hosts will be responsible for at least some of the cost of professional installation and for keeping the camera connected to a home internet router.
The project cameras under consideration are 1080p, 3.3 megapixel, 30 frame per second (taking a 3.3 megapixel image 30 times per second), generating clear, precise, modern video surveillance footage that allows for the identification of objects captured. The HD video, 3X Optical zoom, day and night recording cameras are upgradable, have a reputation for good resolution, good tracking capabilities, and an infrared LED night vision reach of 150 feet.
The camera model matches existing cameras in a network of multiple business locations in Tremont, allowing individual property owners to expand the coverage of a larger, already established security network.
The cameras can be camouflaged, and the security system allows members to log in for remote access to their home exterior camera view. Planned signage for Tremont’s neighborhood gateways, modeled after Edgwater’s “24/7 VIDEO SURVEILLANCE” signage, will eliminate the need for signs in individual yards.
Technology consultant for the Security Cameras for Tremont project, Brian Devine, explained, “We just basically want to build a video help network that will tell us ‘this business owner would have that direction of a vehicle going past that suspect.’ No live public feed is needed, just a willingness to share the footage captured when and if needed.”
Why do we need a grassroots network of cameras? According to Devine, if Tremont can build upon its current network of multiple camera locations with myriad neighborhood video perspectives, as in the case of apprehending the Boston Bomber, information can be stitched together to give police an accurate video description of criminals and help nip future problems in the bud. “The cameras and the software system really allow you to do that,” said Devine.
While the system allows standard website backend access with user login, administrator controls, and permission levels, it’s also user friendly enough to allow for the quick and efficient sharing of suspicious information. Devine said, “It is easy to remove a clip, email it, and [the system] integrates to remote sites very well.” He added, “It allows video functionality in several different ways.”
Any Tremont property owner interested in hosting a camera, including camera professional installation and property owner internet router connection for power (no batteries or outlet needed), may do so by visiting GOFUNDME.com/CamerasForTremont.