Greenville Police Reported A 32 Percent Drop In Crime

Greenville City Hall

The monitor takes up a wall of the communications center, and it is always on.

Dozens of screens show various angles of downtown Greenville, some panning, some fixed in place. Cars stopping at traffic lights, pedestrians crossing the street — every second is recorded on police cameras and streamed back to this room.

Trained on key blocks from the Bi-Lo Center to the West End and in public parking garages, the 120 cameras are part of a surveillance network that the police department plans to upgrade this year.

At least six cameras will be added and existing ones replaced under a five-year, $1.5 million capital improvement project, according to city officials who say downtown’s surveillance network hasn’t expanded since the first cameras came online.

Police reported a 32 percent drop in crime after the $670,000 network was installed a decade ago, saying cameras had deterred garage vandalism and curbed the number of auto break-ins downtown — the most prevalent crime before cameras appeared. Technology has evolved into a new dimension of surveillance since then.

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