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Posted on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:49 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township to test public surveillance cameras in West Willow neighborhood

By Tom Perkins

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The West Willow neighborhood is bordered to the northwest by the I-94 Service Drive, to the southwest by I-94 and to the east by Wiard Road.

West Willow residents will soon have a set of cameras watching over their neighborhood.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved funding for a pilot program to install five security cameras in public areas throughout the neighborhood.

If the pilot program proves successful, township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said the program could be expanded township-wide. The system is expected to be up and running within four to six weeks and officials will evaluate results around the end of summer.

Ypsilanti Township has seen a spate of violent crime in recent months, and Director of Police Services Mike Radzik said Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department data indicates the highest concentration lies in West Willow.

Radzik said the neighborhood also has a high concentration of parolees and rental homes, and it demands a larger share of police resources.

Testing the cameras there also makes sense because the neighborhood only has five entrances and is “defined and contained”, Radzik said. West Willow is a triangular-shaped neighborhood bordered by I-94 to the west and south; the I-94 service drive to north and west and Wiard Road to the east.

Officials are particularly interested in recording cars using the entrances. Radzik said the cameras would not be pointed directly at any houses. They would largely record sections of streets where cars slow down, affording a clean shot of the license plates. The cameras could also record a section of street in front of a home where there is known criminal activity, or at parks where there have a high number of incidents.

Closed circuit, hardwired cameras already record activity outside the Ypsilanti Township Civic Center, community center and community golf course. The new cameras are wireless, transmit images via cellular service and are mobile. They would be attached to DTE Energy utility poles and could be easily moved throughout the neighborhood, officials said.

The cameras start recording still images upon detecting motion in an area and transmit full color images back to a central computer, where they are stored for up to 45 days. The cameras would not provide a live stream and no one would regularly monitor the recordings.

Instead, if there were a crime, police could pull the images from the computer. Radzik said there would likely be a police official on each shift who is trained to retrieve images in case a serious crime occurs and images are needed quickly.

Radzik also said officials have yet to determine whether they will advertise to the public that an area is under surveillance or if the cameras will be “covertly” placed throughout neighborhoods. If the program is advertised, residents would likely be alerted through signs stating that an area is under surveillance.

Radzik said he hasn’t heard any complaints about privacy issues.

“If opposition does present itself, I would be interested in hearing why,” he said.

The $30,000 system will be purchased with money from the police services fund. Officials said they are checking with their insurance company to determine if the cameras are covered in the event of vandalism.

Each camera cost $3,922. Trustee Stan Eldridge, a former Ypsilanti police officer, said he fully expects the cameras will be vandalized and the township should “go into this with our eyes open and know we are going to spend above and beyond” the $30,000. For an additional $3,000 per camera, the township can purchase “anti-ballistic” cameras that can withstand a bullet unless they are hit directly on the lens.

Radzik said Eastern Michigan University uses the same system and township officials recently went there for a demonstration, which he said was impressive. Eldridge said he had also worked with EMU’s cameras in the past said the system works “very, very, very well.”

One point discussed at length was how to develop benchmarks to determine the pilot’s success. Sheriff’s Department Lt. Jim Anuszkiewicz said officials need to consider their expectations of the camera. He said the system won't capture clear images of perpetrators committing crimes, but if images are being pulled seven to eight times a month to help solve crimes, then the cameras could be considered useful tools.

Township officials said the cameras could be effective, especially given the reduced number of deputies patrolling the streets.

“We have less deputies out … and we have to do whatever we can to make our dollars go further,” Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe said. “We can’t have cops on every street, so this, in some ways, if it works and we can get images and license plates, it’s actually going to put that many more police officers out there 24-7, 365 in those areas.”

Anuszkiewicz agreed. He said the township and Sheriff’s Department have extensively researched the idea, and added that the township is being proactive in employing technology to help solve crimes.

“When you look at what’s going on across country and world … technology is the thing that’s getting out there, because (municipalities) aren’t putting more cops on the street,” he said. “They’re taking cops off the street and looking at technology to replace them.”



Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

I installed a video surveillance system to cover my own property. It is unfortunate that so many here wish to "protect" those in west Willow from receiving this same benefit.


Mon, Apr 11, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

This reminds me that after the Civil War ended, and President Abe Lincoln was killed, in the midst of the fear and anger for revenge, secretary of War Edwin Stanton did everything he could to find the assassin even violating the constitution of the United States to do so. It seems the leadership of Ypsilanti Township cannot solve the crime problem in their community so they are willing to do whatever even violating it citizens civil rights and the citizens eager for a solution are willing to go along with this. The majority of the individuals who are affected by this surveilance are blacks, yet where are the black voices (leadership) to speak to this.


Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

" A higher concentration of parolees" Am I wrong for suggesting that an area that has a high concentration of individuals that are on parole need to be monitored by Big Brother? Scooby nailed it by suggesting that those who are living an honest life have nothing to hide. Those individuals, like Scooby and Angela deserve to know that in the event that a crime is commited against them, there is some type of "eye" that witnessed it. In an area where people may be afraid to contact authorities, this may solve the problem.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

Posting the signs and some fake cameras might produce the same study result!


Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

So true. The way i see it, if you have nothing to hide, you would not care how many cameras were posted. Put one in my yard.PLEASE!!

E. Daniel Ayres

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Not a bad idea... mix "fakes" in with the real ones to keep down the losses from vandalism. Get more mileage from fewer actual cameras.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine, 1791 — Dissertation on First Principles of Government


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

I have lived in West Willow for almost 31 years. I've done everything from grow up playing in the streets and yards of neighbors to being a home owner now. I've grown up and still continue to live in the same house. I have a few opinions on this entire subject. First, for all of you out there living in a quiet, safe neighborhood sharing cups of sugar and grilling tips with your neighbors, congratulations! But before you go on tossing out things like this is a silly waste of money or camera can't replace cops, I invite you to bring your spouse and children and spend a few days and nights there. When you find yourself looking over your shoulder after dark to make sure no one is lurking around waiting to make you a part of the crime statistics you might think again about how silly and wasteful the cameras may be. Secondly, cameras cannot replace actual police officers. However, while the police are responding to the actual scene of the crime and the suspects are driving, pedaling or running away, maybe the cameras will pick something up that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Maybe then, the criminals will start being arrested and forced to answer for their wrongdoings and more innocent people won't be victimized. As for the "big brother is watching" idea, how about you don't do anything you aren't supposed to and you won't have to worry about what the cameras pick up. Take whatever activity it is that you are participating in that makes you nervous about "big brother" watching and take it in your house with the blinds closed. Then "big brother" can't see. As for me, personally, I say please place a camera near my house. Heck, point it directly at my house for all I care. I'm not doing anything that I need to hide from anyone. I won't mind knowing if something does happen to me or my home, the crime won't go unsolved and the criminal won't be free to do it to anyone else.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

Great commentary. I'm with you scby_sncks. I hope they hang a few on my street. I've got nothing to hide.

Angela Barbash

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Hi Scooby, thank you for writing in and for being active in this discourse. I would be happy to grab a cup of coffee with you sometime soon, if you would like to privately contact me at I'm the current president of the Neighborhood Association, and the more residents we have connecting with each other and getting involved, the better off we all are when it comes to dealing with these issues.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

comical, while comments are being posted about "big Brother" concerns, so on and so forth. Noone seems to realize there are already camera's installed on top of roof tops within Ann Arbor public housing units and throughout adjacent area's.

Red Barber

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Could someone in the know provide a bit more information on the cameras? Such as: 1.) The lens's field of view? And is it fixed? 2.) Is the body of the camera a fixed mount, or adjustable? 3.) If adjustable, must it be done manually?

Angela Barbash

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Hi Red Barber, just to piggy back on what you've already been told -- West Willow and several other adjacent communities that were once stellar middle class neighborhoods have turned into primary low-mid income, with people moving in from surrounding areas outside of Ypsilanti Township. The pattern we're seeing is that a person from Detroit, Inkster, Romulus, etc. will come and rent a home here, then all of their less than lawful friends will come 'hang out' at their house. A lot of the crimes are being committed by people who just moved here, or who don't actually live here.

Red Barber

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

Ricebrnr, Your point is well taken. It's just that non-disclosure of such information requires the residents of the neighborhood to place a lot of trust in the township's word. Anyway, another poster who lives in the neighborhood has cleared up the issue for me. It seems that non-residents of the neighborhood are perpetrating the majority of the crime. In that case, the cameras make a little more sense. I would have thought the perpetrators to largely be residents of the neighborhood, not outsiders coming in and then leaving afterward. And I think you're right in the post above about the roles of accuser and accused.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

If they told ya, they'd have to kill ya... Seriously though not sure if you would want to give that information out...


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

I think this sounds like an excellent pilot program. The neighbors that live in the area have been asking for help for years. Let's all shut up for a while and see if this works. Good luck!

bone roller

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 6:33 a.m.

is this a joke..are you telling me that the people that are committing all the crime in west willow are worried about cameras . thats funny in a way think about it ..we see their feces every day and so do the police..


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Did you mean faces? Is your Freudian slip showing?


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

It's just so reminiscent of 1984 and George Orwell. Have cameras everywhere and crime will disappear because criminals will know they are being watched. Let's put microphones in all public places as well. And satellite photo surveillance. And paid police informants. Soon crime will disappear and West Willow becomes Utopia. .


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

The best that I can tell is that there are 7 entrance/exits into the neighborhood. If you are crafty and know the area, you can avoid detection. There are streets at Gates/US12, Dorset/US12, Onandaga/US12, Tyler/Wiard, Cedarcliff/McCartney, State/McCartney and Pasadena/McCartney. Easily avoidable or back trackable.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

The people who are willing to shoot at others and risk life in prison simple don't give a damn about cameras.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

As one commenter said, if you don't like the cameras being there you can move out. That would take care of the root problem wouldn't it? If the criminals don't like it, they can leave. The neighbors will be very glad to get rid of them. It seems a couple of city's have lost numbers according to the census, head their way.

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

@Sandy....totally agree. Thanks!


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

I do agree with Mr. Heddle! Where are the officers that were going to be put on our streets?? Maybe the state should look into where that money is going (and all of the Township books)!!

Angela Barbash

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

When the millage was put on the ballot, it specifically said that it was being requested to *maintain* our current number of officers, not add to the rolls. Their rationale was that future revenue was expected to decrease, so they were essentially asking for more money ahead of time.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

The township board welcomes any suggestions that any of our residents may have that will help with curbing crime in our community. The cameras as reported in the article will be tried as a pilot program. We will be seeking data to see if the cameras are successful. If anyone has any ideas that will help please contact our offices. These are clearly difficult times we are all working through with less resources and less jobs combined with the need and committment to protect the health and safety of our residents, stabilize our neighborhoods and maintian our quality of life. It takes all of us working together in a positive, solution seeking atmosphere to be successful.


Sat, Apr 9, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Thanks Angela. That is unfortunately the result when feelings trump logic and facts.

Angela Barbash

Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

I'm with you Ricebrnr, I just didn't comment because I know this Township board will never go for it. That being said, I have no problem saying publicly that an armed society is a polite society and my family fully supports that notion. Notice my house has never been messed with, and I'm pretty sure our ne'er do well neighbors are aware of our stance.

Red Barber

Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

Re: Ricebrnr's proposal, I think that the mandatory requirement of such, even if unheeded by those with an aversion to guns for one reason or another, would prove effective; because whether a particular home actually has a gun on the premises is likely to be unknown by the would-be perpetrator; thus, such uncertainty might prove to be an adequate deterrent. More so, that is, than cameras.


Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

So nobody is interested or has any comment about this idea? In this day of budget cuts for individuals, families and municipalities, no one is even going to consider a FREE alternative? This is not snake oil, it is not too good to be true. It is working somewhere else that has similar demographics to what Ypsi once was. This isn't even about increasing gun ownership as that is nudge nudge wink wink not actually mandatory. All it would take is people of courage and/ or just plain fed up enough to try. What's the downside? It doesn't work, no money was spent on it and the situation is status quo?

Angela Barbash

Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

Dan Ayers and another poster commented below about mixing fake cameras in with real cameras. Thought that wasn't a bad idea either...


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

Here's an idea. It's absolutely free, has been working in another town for 2 and a half decades and does not require any actual participation from the residents. Look up what Kennesaw, GA did. Follow their example. See what happens. If it doesn't work it cost you and the taxpayers nothing. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

What's wrong with this? The area is noted for a higher level of crime. if this is a more efficient way to police the entire area, go for it. This isn't big brother, this is common sense.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:40 p.m.

If part of the problem is that people fear retaliation, then the cameras should help &quot;see&quot; what is happening, and give people the courage to speak up when they do witness crimes in progress. The Criminal elements won't know who told on them or if they were recorded while in the act. Ordinary law abiding citizens have nothing to fear. A couple of side benefits could be that a Judge can view it in action and sentence accordingly, another would be that more criminals plead guilty vs going to trial because they have been caught on tape.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

I disagree a witness testifying would be accusing a defendent of something, would they not?

Michigan Reader

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

Ricebrnr--&quot;The accused has the right to confront the accuser&quot;. True, but the victim is the accuser, not someone who alerts law enforcement to criminal activity.

Angela Barbash

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

RuralMom -- Hi :) I run the West Willow Neighborhood Association, and know all the people on the Patrol team, can you email me privately and help me connect with your sister? I'm wondering who she is...? Thank you for your family's support -- this neighborhood fell apart because people moved out or closed their doors. It's nice to see people opening their doors back up.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Ricebrner - I know it will come out at trial. It won't come out in the &quot;heat&quot; of the investigation. My Sister who lives there with my Niece was just accepted to the Citizen's Patrol Group. If she's gonna be out there trying to make a difference in her neighborhood, I want her to have all the technological advantages she can have. I moved out of that neighborhood about 13-15 yrs ago. It amazes me how fearful it makes me now. I begged her to move too, however its promity to her job and other amenities keep her there. Her street hasn't had many issues, but she is surrounded by chaos. You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

Actually during discovery the lawyers of and then the criminals themselves will find out who the witness was, CCTV or human. That won't change, the accused has a right to confront the accuser. More like those who aren't speaking up now, will find comfort and an excuse not to in the future since CCTV will be &quot;on the job&quot;.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Good one Domey, Unfortunate most of those the article targets won't get the reference... Still considering the gist of most of the comments, I'm very surprised that the pilot is not more readily accepted.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Fear not! This &quot;pilot&quot; program will work well enough to warrant expansion into *your* neighborhood as well. First they will only be pointed at the street, then they will only be pointed at your house occasionally, then they will only be on the outside of your house, then... Do you see where this is headed? Accept the love of your benefactor, Big Brother. Big Brother knows what is best for you and will keep you &quot;safe&quot;. Now, can we please hear from the Ministry of Truth? I've heard they say cameras have always been here.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

zip the cat, &quot;Doesent take a genious to figure out that with all the guns in west willow that they will be shot out the first night&quot; That is so true! Back in the 90's they shot up some Washtenaw County Sheriff Deputies! So what do they think?! They won't shoot up some cameras?!

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:50 a.m.

@ Hades-I personally love to read comments about what happened in the 90's in West Willow, and what is occurring now, over 20 years later. 20 years ago, I did not live in West Willow either but, at the beginning of this decade, we took a chance and purchased a home in a affordable community. Most of our neighbors are lifelong residents. In eleven years living here, we have experienced one shooting incident, near our street, that really concerned our personal safety. Yes, other things have occurred in West Willow. Regardless, break-ins happen in Scio, Lyon Townships and even in Saline too. Nowhere is totally safe, unless you live in a bunker....then you have to worry about an earthquake impacting that version of tranquility. The point is, a community should be judged by the actions of its' residents. A reason why I noted this, and it is because a majority of incidents that occur in West Willow, are from other individuals that don't live within our community...i.e. transits. The RESIDENTS of West Willow stood up in the 90's, helped law enforcement parole the streets, to end gang activity that occurred during the 90's. Again RESIDENTS are standing up to work with WSCD to work as a group with the Citizen's Patrol and with WSCD to reduce criminal activity. In addition, we are encouraged by the actions of Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees, who understand the importance of one of the largest tax paying communities (via housing mass density) and their dedication to keep the community SAFE for its' residents. What is discouraging is to hear/read reactions from people outside the community, that never or rarely, take the time to learn about what the RESIDENTS are doing to make West Willow a safer place to live and raise a family. Feel free to attend a New West Willow Neighborhood Association meeting and become informed. Our meetings are free and open to the public...including for individuals that do not live in West Willow, itself. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Sarah Rigg

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

I DO live in West Willow, and even though I had an attempted break-in at my house within the last couple of months, I don't want the cameras there! We need a township that will make funding public safety a priority and for neighbors to watch out for neighbors. How about a push for people to get involved in neighborhood watch and the West Willow Neighborhood Association instead of spending 10s of thousands of dollars on cameras to invade innocent people's privacy?

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

I also want to extend an invite to @Sarah Rigg and @eyeonthenews, to attend our next New West Willow Neighborhood Association meeting. As the Recording Secretary, the entire board respects hearing the thoughts and opinions of what their views are, about our community. Sarah and eyeonthenews, information on our next meeting, Monday, April 11th @ 7:00PM, are available at the below link. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Hope to see you at the next meeting!

Michigan Reader

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

@Sarah Rigg--There is no right to privacy in a public place. Besides, the cameras won't be pointed at a specific house. To start, they'll be positioned to capture licence plates and I assume vehicle descriptions as they enter and leave the neighborhood.

Angela Barbash

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

Hi Sarah, your picture looks familiar but I'm not sure if we've met at the meetings...? I'm the current president of the Association and am always trying to meet residents, to help connect them with each other and get them involved. If you would, please connect with me privately via email at Thanks Sarah :)


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

I also live in West Willow and in the 33 years I've lived here the only comradery I've seen is in the criminal element. Watching out for one another is a good thing but it doesn't happen often here amongst the GOOD neighbors and certainly not in my neck of the woods. Too many people are afraid of retaliation to step up and take a stand against something happening in their own front yards. It's always been like that and there in lies the problem of how this neighborhood went down. That and neglect from the township and previous police administration. This is the first time in years that I'm actually hopeful that something can be done to turn this neighborhood around. We finally have the township officials, Sheriff's dept. and a Neighborhood Watch Association working together to come up with a plan that works can work for us.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Individual freedom ,i.e. personal liberty to come and go as one pleases w/o interference or restriction, is what's at question here, and is a double-edged sword. All who designed this republic (not so long ago) admitted as much - many, in fact, preached as much to any who would listen. Our society was designed to unfetter the individual and thus expose us all to the effects of each citizens' desires, ambitions, innovations, etc. The benefits are obvious. The detriments are too. When individuals value self, money, power andlust, the society is exposed to murder, debt, theft...injustice in general. The pressing question is: what does that society then do?? There are two basic paths to follow: 1. bind the individual by restricting the personal liberties which are harming the society OR 2. Change the individual by converting the values of their heart from harmful to society to beneficial to society, i.e. value life, others over self, soul over money - thus preserving personal liberty. One of these choices is easy, the other difficult. And only one is RIGHT. In my experience in life, the easy path is almost never the RIGHT path. So there is really only one BIG Question: What can change the heart of an individual?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Forget Big Brother, Orwellian, and that it's a silly idea. Something needs to be done. What is silly though to me is why are Township officials saying anything at all? Put up the damn cameras, and shut up. And, why would tell the public that the cameras would not be monitored? There is no reason that the people in this neighborhood should not feel safe in their own home.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

2 questions: 1) Is the feed going to be made available for everyone to watch? This can replace &quot;Dumbest Criminals&quot; et al as my favorite reality shows. 2) how's it working out for the world's most heavily CCTV'd country, England? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Joe Hammerhead

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

@ Ricebrnr- Excellent link you provided about mandatory gun ownership ! Maybe get people thinking?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

&quot;) Is the feed going to be made available for everyone to watch? This can replace &quot;Dumbest Criminals&quot; et al as my favorite reality shows.&quot; haha!

Tom Perkins

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

The feed will not be made readily available but is retrievable under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Concerned Citizen

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

Who is the vendor the township has been working with? Is this going out to public bid? It seems like a pretty significant amount of money not to.

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

@Tom Perkins, thanks for these details as I missed the Ypsilanti Township meeting last night.

Tom Perkins

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

The vendor is Camtronics. According to township staff, they are the only vendor of this type of camera in Michigan. The township would also pay $500 to $700 per hook up to DTE and an additional $40 per month, per camera to Verizon for cellular service. Those costs are included in the $30,000 figure.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

David Cahill, The article specifically states.... &quot;Radzik said the neighborhood also has a high concentration of parolees and rental homes, and it demands a larger share of police resources.&quot; It is also a small triangular area with 5 entrances so that makes for an easy model area. That's the REAL reason for setting up the cameras in this particular area not because it's heavily populated by African Americans. PLEASE!!!! Did you really have to go there?

Ron Granger

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

Oh, the thugs are gonna hate this! I'll bet some are just in a tizzy, worrying about how automated software is going to track them every time they make a delivery. All those trips, each day.. This is good.

genevieve forester

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

I live close to that area (Gualt Villaga) and I know that its a terrible neighborhood for regular honest families. Athough I don't like the idea of being watched by cameras in general , I think it could bring some order to the area. I want the crime out of this neighborhood. Not to mention we are on cameras on most of the roads we drive: Carpenter Rd, Huron Rv. Drv...this is not a new idea. Also, I definitely think that the cameras will be vandalized !


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

I for one am for them. You can joke all you want but Cameras are a detterrent to crime. Europe has had them for years. If you live by the law then you have nothing to hide. You go to shopping malls and they have cameras on you but you still go don't you? Well, I don't see this as anything different. We are under serveillence in many places that we no longer give thought to it. Take a look at the traffic lights on main roads around the area. Yeah, they have cameras. Gas station, banks, stores, need is say more? I will with one last thought... no matter what neighborhood you live in crime is everywhere and just because you haven't experienced having you house broke into or your car stollen OR haven't heard shots fired doesn't mean it won't ever happen to you in your neighborhood. No one is safe these days.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

There is a huge difference between a business watching you and the government. You can chose not to patronize that business but you have no choice if you live in that neighborhood.

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Great comment, eyeonthenews. Thanks!

David Cahill

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Interesting that the first area targeted for cameras is heavily African-American.


Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

For the sake of equality and political correctness, let's install cameras in the all white neighborhood of Burns Park.

Angela Barbash

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Hi Dan! Thanks for chiming in -- it is an socioeconomic issue, for sure. Much of the crime is being committed by those of a particular 'thug' culture, to say nothing of race or ethnicity as the culture spans across racial lines. And yes, many residents would just move but as you point out, they can't. I'm not sure if the cameras will help, especially now that they were announced with a massive media splash. They've done everything but tell the lawbreakers exactly which intersections they're being mounted. This is a wait and see situation...

E. Daniel Ayres

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

Not the issue... It is an economic &quot;Gheto&quot; with a lot of residents who don't have enough resources to move. IMHO it is doubtful that the cameras will do much to deter crime.

Angela Barbash

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

FYI -- West Willow is roughly 60% African American, 30% Caucasian, and 10% Other. We're a pretty diverse community.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Mr. Cahill, interesting and you have supporting stats for this insight- or just your own racist opinions trying to cloud and issue that is neighborhood related and not targeting any particular group.

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

David, Little do you know that many Caucasian Americans live in West Willow also. I highly disagree that the cameras are about that you state &quot;to keep track on the mostly African-American people in a mostly African-American neighborhood&quot;. Instead, it is about keep all of our residents, regardless of color, race, ethnic background, creed, sex, age or any other demographic, safe. I for one applaud the Townships decision/vote, in this case.

Michigan Reader

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

The first targeted demographic area is a high crime area. It's only incidental that it's heavily African-American. This is intended as an improvement not harrassment or punitive.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

Sounds like a good client pool.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

WOW really cuz my Caucasian Sister with my Caucasian Niece are in the heart of the area. Its not a race issue, its a neighborhood issue.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

What are you trying to say David?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

CCTV has been shown not to reduce crime because they do not change the overall environment of the community. Crime intense areas are strongly associated with a disconnected community (local neighbors don't know each other and members dont have a relation with the police). $30,000 may not buy an officer but it would be way more than enough to setup a good neighborhood watch program with a police coop.. which has actually been shown to work because a good program does change the local environment in-addition to reporting potential problems. Also neighborhood watch programs can also stop a crime while it is happening.. a CCTV cant (current cctvs wont call the police).

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

&quot;...cameras that can withstand a bullet unless they are hit directly on the lens. &quot; let's tell everybody how to incapacitate the cameras...although shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. i've seen lights in the low cost housing (gov't subsidized) behind my mom's house get taken down by the neighbors. i either see LOTS of $$ going into replacements/maintenance or a reality-tv show. hey, reality tv? maybe that could pay for the cameras...? i see an opportunity here...


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Would it not be easier and less expensive to 'Gate' this 'community'?

Monica R-W

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Would you want your community &quot;gated&quot;?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

That is a GREAT idea!!! It would keep all the criminals in Ann Arbor out of West Willow. They would also stop harassing the hard working citizens in the clean neighborhood!!


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

You mean gate them in right?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Doesn't count, those guys are on work release.

joe golder

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 7 p.m.

Gates don't work. The bankers escape from their gated communities every day.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

c'mon admit you meant &quot;wall off&quot;


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

"We have less deputies out … and we have to do whatever we can to make our dollars go further," Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe said. "We can't have cops on every street, so this, in some ways, if it works and we can get images and license plates, it's actually going to put that many more police officers out there 24-7, 365 in those areas." What an idiotic statement. So more cameras equates to more &quot;police officers&quot;? What are the cameras going to do.....grow legs, chase, and arrest a suspect?

Angela Barbash

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Well, this should be interesting... We're certainly not fans of 'big brother', generally speaking cameras on every corner sort of freak us out, but that's us personally. We have no idea if this will help in any way, seems to me that just by posting that a neighborhood or a particular property is under surveillance is a deterrent, but in this situation they will likely be vandalized quickly. Our only saving grace on that end is that these guys out here aren't that great of a shot... something tells me they don't spend time on the range every month like the sheepdogs and deputies do. On whether they should spend this money or not, while I respect everyone's critique that they should shift these dollars to more officers, $30k (or even $60k) will not buy an officer. It's a pilot... we'll see what happens from here. If in the end it makes your job (Scott) easier and your time more effective in connecting criminals to crimes, then I wouldn't be so opposed to leveraging the technology.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

I suspect that the more cunning criminals will soon learn to do their deeds off camera.

greg, too

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Or they will just move to a different neighborhood. I guess that would lower the numbers in West Willow, but it will raise the crime rates somewhere else.

zip the cat

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

Doesent take a genious to figure out that with all the guns in west willow that they will be shot out the first night


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Well there are gun laws that are on the books that can be applied to those illegally owning and using firearms. Wait are you saying criminals (parolees) might be breaking the laws???? How about enforcing the reasonable and sensible gun laws? if you don't or they don't apply to the targeted population then they aren't reasonable or sensible are they?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

I do not live in West Willow either.. but maybe that is the point. West Willow is one of the worst neighborhoods in that area. There are a number of things that go on there every night.. everything from simple assualt, to shootings, drugs gangs.. ect. Maybe with the cameras in the area some of the crime numbers may go down. It would be nice if the some of that money went to hiring more officers. I think that the cameras would be good. Maybe it will help stop some of the maddness there, and return West Willow back to a nicer neighborhood.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

By the way I don't live in West Willow so I may be hypocritical to judge what goes on there but I firmly believe that everytime you give up a little freedom you end up less free.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

Will they put up signs saying &quot;BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING&quot; They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

Scott Heddle

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

A silly, desperate, wasteful, Orwellian grasp at problem solving. How about spending some of the $2.5million from the milliage that was sold to the citizens under the promise of maintaining and increasing police on the street. Instead, that money is being pocketed to help fund the folly joining forces with Ypsilanti City in starting a brand new police department that every estimate shows will cost as much a $60,000 more per police officer than they are paying for Sheriff Deputies. On any given shift there are only 6 deputies covering about 55,000 residents, 1000 businesses, 5 trailer parks, dozens of apartment complexes, and 32 square miles. 5 cameras in West Willow is not going to change that ratio.

Angela Barbash

Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Scott, I don't believe the report is in yet on how much more or less it will cost the Township and City to join forces...? Are you referencing the study that was done several years ago that proposed joining several area Township police forces? Or a different study? If you could, please cite the $60k figure -- thanks.


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Congrats just saw your comment on Fox news at ten

Chip Reed

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 10:49 a.m.

I wouldn't want cameras in my neighborhood, but I don't live in West Willow (or Eastlawn, as we used to call it).