Release Date: October 16, 2008
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has purchased three security cameras for the Buffalo Police Department as part of UB's ongoing efforts to improve safety and behavior in University Heights, in cooperation with the City of Buffalo, neighborhood residents and community leaders.
The three cameras have been installed on street corners identified as areas of concern by the Buffalo Police Department and UB. They are located on traffic-signal or street-light poles on the corners of Winspear Avenue and Parkridge Street, Main Street and Custer Street, and Englewood Avenue and Eley Place.
Purchase and installation of the cameras cost UB about $80,000. Each new camera will provide video streaming to the Buffalo Police Department camera room located at 74 Franklin Street.
UB President John B. Simpson said purchase of the cameras is an example of UB's proactive approach to helping solve problems in University Heights, which borders UB's South Campus in Buffalo.
"The steps we've taken in collaboration with neighborhood leaders and the City of Buffalo have helped curb crime and bad behavior in University Heights," Simpson said. "We will continue to take a leadership role in improving safety and behavior in the neighborhood."
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the city was thankful for UB's investment in the safety of University Heights residents and called for continued community-wide efforts to reduce crime in the neighborhood.
"Security cameras are a proven crime deterrent and valuable investigational tool," Mayor Brown said. "This technology will enhance the collaborative approach taken by UB, the City of Buffalo and University Heights residents to improve quality of life in the neighborhood."
The City of Buffalo began installation of a city-wide surveillance camera system in 2007. Currently, there are more than 60 security cameras in locations around the city, with another 40 cameras to be added by the end of the year. Each camera feeds live video to the Buffalo Police Department camera room, which stores the video.
H. McCarthy Gipson, Buffalo Police Commissioner, said the Buffalo Police Department continues to work very closely with officials from UB to ensure the safety of students and residents who live in the area.
"The new cameras will be one more crime-fighting tool used by the department and UB," Commissioner Gipson said. "Recently, extra patrols and security details were added by the Buffalo Police Department to the University Heights area. Most importantly, we want to thank the residents for working hand-in-hand with police to help fight crime. And, of course, we thank UB for their investment in the long-term safety of the area."
Dennis Black, UB's vice president for student affairs, said the university has initiated several programs to help improve safety and student behavior in University Heights.
"Purchase of the cameras is another example of how UB is working with the City of Buffalo and our community partners to reduce crime and improve the safety of students and residents who live in University Heights," said Black noted. "We hope the cameras also will serve as another deterrent to inappropriate, nuisance behaviors that affect quality of life in the neighborhood."
Other programs initiated by UB to improve safety and behavior in University Heights have included an agreement with the Buffalo Police Department to target and break up disruptive parties; a new neighborhood clean-up program; and creation of a Problem-Properties Task Group, with neighborhood residents, that targets residences that need better upkeep and repair.
This fall, UB again distributed 4,000 door hangers to University Heights students and residents with tips on how students can be good neighbors and whom residents should call if there are any problems in the neighborhood.