MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One county commissioner is trying to bring Macon-Bibb into the new age of safety technology with the installment of security cameras around town.
For District 8 commissioner Virgil Watkins, a higher guarantee of safety equals surveillance in Macon-Bibb.
“We do have shootings, we have break-ins, a lot of stuff happens at the convenience stores. We have our challenges when it comes to commercial break-ins as well as residential break-ins,” Watkins said.
That’s why he’s pushing for the installment of security cameras across the county.
“Just updating our city in the new century with cameras that are supported by the Bibb County sheriff’s Office to provide enhanced security,” he explained.
Enhanced security and a second set of eyes for deputies out on patrol, says Col. Aubrey Evans.
“By putting cameras on the street, it would be a good way to deter crime. People know that they’re under constant watch and monitoring,” Col. Evans told 41NBC.
It would also help solve crimes with evidence when there isn’t a witness to come forward.
“It would be a good tool to have to be able to help us solve some crimes where we have no idea who the person is or what kind of car they’re driving or what kind of clothing they had on or what direction they went. It’s just a lot of hidden variables going on that we have no idea about,” Evans said.
The cameras would cost around $150 to $200 per camera per month. Watkins is proposing the county pay for them by adding an additional percent on to the hotel/motel tax.
“Georgia power is offering it almost as an enhanced utility on their light poles,” he said.
He’s done his homework. Now he’s just hoping the same math adds up for business owners, residents and his fellow commissioners.
Watkins says there’s a lot of interest from other commissioners on how to solve issues of crime in Macon and that they’re open to the idea of surveillance cameras.
If it gains the support he’s looking for, he plans to start a pilot program within the coming months.
The commission will continue the discussion on it Tuesday at their next meeting.