WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - We are used to seeing police SkyCop cameras in neighborhoods and at shopping centers. Soon, they will be installed at all schools in one Mid-South city.
If nothing else, West Memphis police officers hope that adding SkyCop cameras will be an extra layer of security and another tool to deter crime near the city's 10 schools.
"Obviously with SkyCop kind of embedded over here now, we thought that would be a great place to roll the program into for the next school year, would be to place the SkyCops on every school campus," said West Memphis Police Department Captain Joe Baker.
Captain Baker said the department has seen a reduction in crime within the last year in areas where SkyCop cameras are located. He's hoping the same will be true for local schools.
"So even at an elementary school campus where we have nothing going on, just the fact that it's there and the deterrent effect we've seen in other places, we think it'll mimic that on a school campus," Captain Baker said.
Thelma Riley has a seventh grade student at West Jr. High School. She says the idea of an extra layer of security is comforting.
"Makes me feel better," Riley said. "It makes me feel good that they can watch the students as they go in and out."
Captain Baker said the department received $65,000 from a private donor that will go toward purchasing the SkyCop cameras.
He said the cameras have already been ordered and should be up on school campuses within the next few months.
So far, West Memphis Police Department has about 30 SkyCop cameras up around the city.
With the new cameras that will go on campus, it'll bring that number to about 40.