Posted: July 26, 2016 8:48 am
The Erie Downtown Partnership has released a second round of funding for external security camera placement in downtown Erie.
These grants are part of a three year project to help reimburse the purchase and installation of exterior security cameras for eligible businesses and property owners in the 70-block downtown district.
Reimbursement is provided by the Erie Downtown Partnership for the installation of outside security cameras to keep customers, employees, and the public safer in and around downtown businesses.
According to Erie Downtown Partnership CEO, John Buchna, “Last year’s funding was a huge success, with six organizations receiving a grant for security camera installs.”
Recipients included The Erie Playhouse on West 10th Street, The Renaissance Centre on State Street, Gaudenzia Erie, Inc. on West 5th Street, Ralph Miller Jewelers on West 8th Street, Tandoorhi Hut on North Park Row, and Community Health Net on State Street.
Dan Niebauer of Ralph Miller Jewelers says, “Having external security cameras was critical in identifying a thief who tried to steal from one of our showcases during store hours just a couple months ago. The quality of the video is very clear, much better than most cameras.”
Almi Clerkin of The Erie Playhouse adds, “People feel afer especially at night when there are evening rehearsals or patrons leaving the theatre. I would encourage any organization downtown to consider applying for this program. If neighboring businesses work together they could essentially provide full coverage of an entire street and/or block, which would benefit us all.”
The partnership’s Economic Restructuring Committee worked closely with both the Mayor’s Office and the Chief of Police, Randy Bowers, to design the project’s execution and select a preferred vendor. Local business Cyber Systems USA will work with each recipient on the installation and training on equipment and software.
Chief of Police, Randy Bowers, adds, “We’ve seen what a difference the presence of security cameras makes in changing people’s behaviors. Working with the Erie Downtown Partnership to bring more security and safety to downtown businesses and organizations is a real priority for us. Reports of crime are down by in areas with these external cameras. As an example The Renaissance Centre’s 10th Street area had 34 incidents reported during the year prior to cameras being installed, and this past year with cameras installed only 13 incidents reported. ”
Jodie Klus of Gaudenzia says, “The staff and clients feel an added sense of safety. With the increase in incidents in our area, the cameras allow us to monitor our environment, clients, and staff. Gaudenzia Erie appreciates the Erie Downtown Partnership providing us the opportunity to provide added safety to our clients and staff and aid in public safety.”
Buchna explains the selection process is prioritized based on a number of factors.
“Our Economic Restructuring Committee selects grant recipients based on their location, camera needs, and their proximity to other underserved areas of the downtown where cameras may be lacking. It’s really about getting these cameras at locations that have a real need for surveillance and have a lot of foot traffic day and night. We want to help improve the quality of life for both the people that work downtown and visit downtown.”
Properties with existing cameras are also eligible for the grant.
Applications are available on the partnership’s web site at http://www.eriedowntown.com/getting-around/member-request/.
Submission deadlines are August 1st, 2016 by 2:00 PM. Selections will be made in August and installations will be completed in September.
The Erie Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Erie by improving its image, business climate, physical environment and design.