All kinds of Oak Cliff corridors are the focus of conversation these days. This morning the topic of discussion was Jefferson Boulevard, at the Jefferson Boulevard Corridor Summit put on by the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. The goal was to give business owners up and down the street a "status report of community efforts, and a chance to recruit volunteers to various community causes."
One interesting bit of news came from Dallas Police Lt. Danny Gallegos of the Southwest Patrol Division. He told the group that the division is in the process of installing 11 surveillance cameras along Jefferson between Polk and Eighth. Originally, they were going to be posted on streetlights, but that didn't work, Gallegos says, so now they will be posted on traffic signals on all the major cross streets. The cameras "look up and down," can do "360 degree turns," and "an officer can come by and monitor the camera through a laptop computer."
Eventually, police hope to install 20 cameras up and down Jefferson. That will require funding; each one costs $5,000. Right, now the cameras and signage will have two major purposes: to deter criminals who see the cameras from committing crime, and to allow police to review footage after crimes occur. The next step will be for police to raise funds for a live, monitored communication center downtown.
The first camera is already installed at Bishop and Jefferson. Nick Cordova of the Jefferson Boulevard Business Association suggested that the police put up signs stating, "Smile! You're on camera." Gallegos seemed to like that idea.