Marion resident wants neighborhood Sky Cop
Camera would take aim at crime reduction, says Hudson
A Marion resident is asking for the city’s help to install a Sky Cop camera in his neighborhood to help prevent crime.
James Hudson, who lives at 152 Morningside Drive, told the city council that he would like to put up a pole and a camera at Morningside Drive and Fieldcrest.
“I was hoping to put a Sky Cop on that corner and that way catch anything that is going on in those two streets,” Hudson said.
Hudson said there are neighborhoods in Memphis where they have similar cameras in place now, but he isn’t sure whether there are any height or pole type restrictions in Marion, or any restrictive neighborhood covenants that would prevent him from erecting a pole.
He has been told by Entergy that they won’t allow him to install anything on their poles and that they do not sell utility poles.
Also, Hudson said Entergy told him that he would not be able to power a camera off the street light.
“I’m coming to you to see what I can do and what the restrictions would be to have a second pole installed
on the corner,” Hudson said.
Hudson said the pole would be located on his property and that he would also run a power line from his house to power the camera.
“This is something that I was going to take on myself,” Hudson said. “Even if I just had a blue light that was flashing, it would help reduce the possibility of my neighbors and me being victims or burglarized.”
Councilman Don Hanks said he likes the idea and has also seen them in use in Memphis.
The one on Flicker Street off Union in Memphis is on a pole and is monitored by Memphis Police Department
24 hours a day, Hanks
“We’ve wired several like it in Chickasaw Gardens,” Hanks said. “They work across the river. I’ve seen them work.”
Hanks said he also knows a company in Memphis that sells wooden poles.
“It’s a small amount,” Hanks said. “The communities that have bought them (Sky Cop cameras) are on poles. It would probably have to be 20 or 35 feet. They want them at the corners. That’s where you will catch them. If a call comes in they first thing they can do is run it back on that camera and see if they can get any information. The main thing is if you can afford the cameras.”
Police Chief Gary Kelly offered to help Hudson get a price on cameras.
“We can check on it,” Kelly said.
Councilman Cliff Wood said he has no problems with the city looking in to the idea further.
“I wouldn’t object to a neighborhood doing that,” Wood said.
Hudson said he believes a neighborhood camera is a good idea to help head off any crime.
“I’m just trying to get ahead of the problem like we did with the no truck signs,” Hudson said. “We took a lot of hits for it. But I think it was a useful intervention to keep trucks from the subdivisions. That is the purpose of this. I’m thinking that if it works there, then maybe some other communities will emulate or have some type of idea that will improve upon what is already being sought.”
Mayor Frank Fogleman said no one has ever come before the city council to ask for a Sky Cop camera in their neighborhood before, but pledged to help in any way he can.
“Obviously you have done more research and are ahead of me,” Fogleman said. “I don’t see any harm in investigating it. I am open minded to it. Once you get your information we can put together a police and fire committee meeting and find a way to work with you.”
By Mark Randall