Do the Downtown Bryan Surveillance Cameras Make You Feel Safer?

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

Bryan Police are beefing up patrols in downtown Bryan because of recent break-ins.

Reps say they charged 27 year-old Michael Mcafoos with breaking into a vehicle and stealing a stereo after surveillance video corroborated an eye witness statement about the incident.

Police also hope the surveillance cameras, first installed in 2008, will help catch thieves and other criminals.

You may not see them, but they see you.

Whether you're in a car, or walking along the streets of downtown Bryan...six pairs of eyes are perched high up on the roof of the La Salle Hotel, surveying the area 24-7.

In 2010, this man was caught graffiti-ing the side of a building.
It didn't solve the case, but the video is a good starting point for police.

"Somebody did break the window to steal an accordion out of it," said one shop manager, Kathryn Krol.

Krol isn't sure the Bryan Police cameras can see all the way down Main Street, where the String and Horn Shop sits.

"I don't believe we got any retribution or resolution on that at all," Krol said.

Most recently a stereo was stolen out of a store vehicle parked in front of their shop, but Kathryn says the majority of problems happen in a back alley.

Krol said, "The cargo van was broken into and the instruments were actually taken out and left further on, in the alley, like people were gonna come back for them."

Bryan police can't confirm the cameras have helped solve any one specific case, but they do say they've helped investigators with issues of vandalism, like this graffiti.

"There isn't any surveillance back there and there are a lot of people that move up and down that alley on a regular basis, during the day, and at night," Krol added.

The shop has an alarm system and several security cameras, but Kathryn says an extra set of eyes would be useful.

"It's good to know that there...is some sort of surveillance, but it would be better if it was a little bit more distributed, equally, to a point where it would cover more territory," said Krol.

Bryan police will not release specifics on how much the cameras can see, for tactical reasons.

The security cameras also help police monitor large crowds during events like First Friday and Texas Reds.
They were purchased with grant money and the Bryan Police Department hopes to add more if it gets additional funding.


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