Community concerned over city light-post cameras

Community Concerns With City Street Cameras

BUFFALO, N.Y. - There are cameras perched on light posts in many spots across Buffalo. They are there to be another pair of eyes for police. 

But 2 On Your Side learned of residents who are worried about how reliable these cameras are. They said the cameras were not working when they needed them. 

At the intersection of Parkside and Amherst, a man said he was the victim of a hit and run.

On the neighborhood networking website "Nextdoor", his neighbor claimed the man contacted the city hoping to get the other cars' information from the camera that sits above the road. He said he was told that the camera was not working at the time of the incident. 

Just down the street at Amherst and Fairfield, another "Nextdoor" user chimed in with a similar complaint. 

She said a neighbor had a break-in over the summer and she asked police about possible footage from the camera above the street. 

She was told "the camera is only on intermittently if at all". 

The woman said that she received the same response when she was sideswiped last winter. 

2 On Your Side's Stephanie Barnes took these complaints to Mike DeGeorge, the Buffalo City spokesman for police. He declined an on camera interview but spoke over the phone. 

DeGeorge went back and looked at the city camera logs referenced in the "Nextdoor" posts. 

He said that the Parkside and Amherst camera was down for maintenance during the time of the "Nextdoor" user's alleged hit and run. 

No logs were provided so it is unknown how long the camera was down but DeGeorge said the cameras go down from time to time, they have a repair system in place and the Parkside and Amherst camera is back up and running now. 

As far as the alleged break-in at Amherst and Fairfield, DeGeorge claimed that they had no reports of camera outages at that location for the entire summer. 

He said the camera is on a rotation schedule and the home that was broken into may have been out of the camera's view. 

A representative from the insurance agency "Lawley" said that video footage, in a case like a hit and run, can be helpful. They said those cases tend to be "he said-she said" and video evidence can make or break a claim. 


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