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Crime cameras go live in Ascension Parish with plans for more

4 months 2 weeks 6 days ago February 06, 2017 Feb 6, 2017 Monday, February 06 2017 February 06, 2017 5:52 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES- The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is staying one step ahead of criminals with nearly half a dozen crime cameras currently in use. Plans are in the works to increase that number to 18 by the end of the year.

The sheriff's office says it's to stay on top of technology as well. Some cameras will have license plate-reading capabilities. However, the ones currently up are centered around strategic locations across the parish.

Eric Duplessis' brand new home did not flood in August. Duplessis is one of the lucky ones as he is one of only two families on his entire street that didn't take on water. Since the flood, he's seen a surplus of strangers navigating down his street.

"All of my neighbors are rebuilding, and you hear different stories," Duplessis said. "Some have gone well. Some haven't gone well."

Not far away from Duplessis' home, are crime cameras. They are monitored inside the 911 center. If deputies get reports of suspicious vehicles or crimes occurring, the cameras can be zoomed in to get vital information.

"Unfortunately, we had our first homicide this year, and within minutes we were able to get camera footage of the getaway car," Duplessis said. "We put that on our social media page. Ya'll posted that for us, which inclined that person to turn themselves in."

Colonel Bobby Webre says the cameras are high definition. Right now, six are in operation across the parish.

"We'll take data driven info. that we have and decide where's the best place to put these cameras in geographical areas of our parish," Webre said. "Mainly going to be on major roads, where there are large subdivisions being built and burglaries or vehicle burglaries are occurring."

The cameras cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on the quality and the function.

"There's no substitute for a good investigator or detective," Webre said. "But, the technology we have now helps us solve crimes faster."

Those sentiments are echoed by Duplessis, who is happy to hear money is being spent on proactive measures to keep his family safe in one of the fastest growing parishes in our area.

"You have to protect your community against those things, and understand that things to keep people safe are important," Duplessis said.

The sheriff's office did not reveal the locations of the cameras in an effort to not let criminals know where they are. The sheriff is paying for the cameras out of the general fund. Two more will go live this week.

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