Whitehaven neighbors raise money for Skycop camera

Whitehaven neighbors raise money for Skycop camera

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Whitehaven neighborhood used its own money to help fight crime.

Neighbors and members of the Watchful Eye Neighborhood Association gathered Thursday morning to watch the installation of a SkyCop camera near Graceland.

Bridget Bradley, president of the association, said this is only the beginning.

“We’re elated. It’s so good to see it come to fruition. I mean, just the start of it. This is just the start," said Bradley,

Ervin Harris, also a member of the Watchful Eye Neighborhood Association, feels optimistic.

"It makes me feel great. It's a sign of progress. It's a sign that safety and security is still alive," said Harris.

The SkyCop Unit is a video and audio surveillance system mounted on towers with flashing blue lights.

It comes equipped with gunshot detection, thermal imaging and license plate recognition capabilities, all from a bird's eye view.

Currently the City of Memphis owns 140 cameras.

The rest were donated to the Memphis Police Department by the residents who live in those neighborhoods.

The average cost is 5,500 dollars per unit.

2,500 dollar grants are available through the city to put toward the cameras.

With the help of that grant, and months of fundraising, residents near Graceland said this is a fresh start for the community.

"It's mostly elderly retired people in this neighborhood now, so we just want to make sure when they go walking, that they're not assaulted or robbed. You know, that's the main goal," said Bradley.

In November, WMC talked to Memphis Police officers about the positive impact SkyCop cameras have on crime.

"Cameras are not right for everyone, and we worry sometimes that cameras give people this false sense. Cameras should always just be a layer of security," said Deputy Chief Don Crowe.

Officers said SkyCop cameras are working to reduce crime and homeowners near Graceland said even an increased sense of security is worth it.

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