Downtown Surveillance Cameras Lead Police to Suspects

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Colorado Springs police tell 11 News they are catching suspected criminals in the act and taking them off the streets. They credit extra eyes watching the downtown surveillance cameras. Those cameras went live in December of 2012. Officers say they're seeing some success.

Day and night: downtown Colorado Springs is on camera.

"I think that it gives us a lot more security and lets us know we are being watched and lets us know someone has our backs," said Miah Chalmers, who works downtown.

Police say the cameras led them to a man named David Frederick. Frederick was suspected of illegal drug possession. He was spotted on one of the downtown cameras February 6 at a playground in Acacia Park and later arrested for having nearly a quarter pound of marijuana.

"It’s a level of success,” said Sgt. Jeff Strossmer. “There are a lot of great things that we’re doing in the downtown to prevent crime from happening and intervening as soon as it does.”

Strossmer said in the time police and volunteers have been monitoring the 13 downtown cameras, police have made three narcotics-related arrests. They also say they can see fights begin and respond before a serious crime can be committed.

A well trained crew of volunteers does much of the watching of the cameras. Those volunteers go through extensive screening and background checks as well as hours of training to identify and report suspicious activity.