Crime in Rutland's Northwest district continues to rise.
"Drug activity, drug transactions, in and out activity from various multiple family locations," Rutland Police Sgt. John Sly said.
One resident, whose property was recently robbed, gave the board of aldermen a creative idea to help police combat the illegal activity.
"And he thought perhaps the city could entertain putting in some sort of surveillance program, some cameras down in the residential neighborhoods just to increase security," Sly said.
There have never been cameras on a residential street in Rutland. Though some residents think it's a good idea, others say Big Brother doesn't belong near private homes.
"I think it would help," said Lisa Martell of Rutland. "I mean honestly, if you can catch the people on camera it would cut down on the crime rate big time."
"I think it's a little too much at this point," said David Tibbs of Rutland. "I mean, we are Vermont, so you want things to stay where you trust your neighbor."
"I was, myself, assaulted on a residential street like a year and a half ago and was hospitalized for it," said Rachael Stacey of Rutland. "So, I think it would be a good idea because those people were never-- those two men were never caught because nobody saw it happen."
The board of aldermen says the request was out of the blue. But aldermen passed it along to their public safety committee.
"This would be an unusual circumstance and I don't believe it's been used in a residential setting, at least anywhere in the state of Vermont. So we would want-- at least I would as a member of the board of aldermen-- to find out how people feel about it before we actually implemented it," said David Allaire, an alderman.
Though police say cameras in public places like shopping malls do help them solve crimes, they're not going so far as to support this idea.
"That is a decision that should not be left to the police department. That is a decision that needs to be made by city government as a whole," Sly said.
We reached out to the ACLU and they told WCAX News they believe the cameras will send the wrong message to residents and could leave too many privacy questions unanswered.
The Public Safety Committee will take up the issue at their next meeting and chose whether to drop the idea or continue the conversation.
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