Mayoral Candidate Hall - More Cameras will cut Houston Crime - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Mayoral Candidate Hall - More Cameras will cut Houston Crime

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When convicted burglar Chad Holley was beaten by Houston police - the power of surveillance cameras was no doubt re-inforced for future Mayoral candidate Ben Hall.

Hall, after all, served as the victim's attorney.

Saturday night at a Sunnyside forum, Hall made adding electronic eyes city wide a key component of his crime fighting program. He claims the measure has produced dramatic results in Houston neighborhoods where cameras have been privately deployed.

"One things criminals don't like is to be detected, that's why they club you in the head at night, that's why they hide behind closet doors in the dark. Lets take that kind of anonymity away from them," said Hall, a former City Attorney.

In a city that leads the nation in the number of burglaries, Hall says cameras can do what cops are not, that is, consistently capture images of criminals both entering and leaving vulnerable neighborhoods.

Mayor Annise Parker sees things differently.

"Technology is not a replacement for police officers," says Parker who insists cameras can and are playing the role of force multiplier in Houston already.

What concerns her is the notion of substituting cameras for cops on the street.

And then, there's the issue of cost.

"To put a surveillance camera in every neighborhood where there has been a burglary would bankrupt the city," said Parker, whose been endorsed by Houston's police officers' union.

But Parker's opponent says his plan calls for neighborhoods to install their own cameras. In return, the City would offer a tax abatement to offset the expense for those communities choosing to participate.

"We could deploy those cameras and incentivize and help them (neighborhoods) with the cost aspect because it would eventually drive down costs for the city in terms of police patrols," said Hall.

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