Painesville Police Levy Update 10/12/19
Two Painesville residents asked LFC to join them in a meeting with the Painesville Chief of Police, Daniel J. Waterman.
The meeting was requested to discuss the security cameras that are going to be purchased if the police levy on the November ballot is passed by the Painesville voters. The residents were wondering what will the cameras be monitoring? Will they be used to monitor traffic violations? Will the cameras use facial recognition software, and will a database be maintained with all the information generated by the software?
We found Chief Waterman to be extremely open and forthcoming with the answers, and was willing to take as much time as needed to ensure that the residents understood what was going on in their city.
The security cameras are not going to be used to monitor traffic violations and automatically sending tickets to the offenders. The cameras will not be using facial recognition software, and the database will be maintained for a finite period of time.
As with many cities in our nation, the distribution and usage of drugs in Painesville is the overwhelming cause of crime within the City of Painesville. It has a ripple affect throughout the community and drives up the social costs dealing with the problems that are caused by the drug culture.
If the City of Painesville is ever to rebound and become the vibrant community we would all like to experience, they must get crime under control. City planners will tell you that people, and businesses are reluctant to move into an area with a crime problem.
Many of the crimes are committed by people living outside of the City of Painesville. We have been told that the easy access to the freeway allows the criminals to flee in under a minute, thereby not allowing the police enough time to react, and apprehend them.
It is believed that the cameras placed in strategic places within the City will give the police another tool to identify vehicles and help curb the crimes perpetrated by others that live outside the City of Painesville.
We found the following information on the City of Painesville website:
What are the crime statistics in Painesville?
Crime rates in the City of Painesville increased in the 1980s and peaked during the late 1990s through 2003. In response to the rising crime rates, the city implemented the Crime Free Housing Program in 1998, followed by more proactive deployment strategies in patrolling streets, including a focus on community policing concepts.
The combination of this work has had a positive impact with crime rates in the city, particularly over the past 5 to 10 years, being substantially lower than 2003.
Despite the improvements in the overall crime rates, officers began to notice an uptick in incidents involving firearms since 2017. Similar to other communities who have experienced increases in gun violence, the department has reason to believe that many of these incidents involve narcotics abuse or trafficking.
We found this article written by Chief Waterman on the Painesville Police Department Facebook page:
DATE: October 14, 2019
On behalf of the City of Painesville and the Painesville Police Department, I want to take a moment to address the recent incidents involving discharge of firearms in city limits. While we cannot get into details of each case, what we can say is that these are not ‘random’ shootings. Detectives and Patrol Officers have been working hard behind the scenes on these cases and we have dedicated substantial resources with an expectation that we will have developments in the near future. None of these cases are being looked at as random events.
Painesville remains a safe place to live, work and visit, despite the actions of a small number of individuals, who have little to no regard for the safety of others. These incidents tend to frequently involve individuals who are not residents of our city. As we have seen through the years with firearm-related incidents, these situations often revolve around the sale or purchase of narcotics or personal disputes, and have rarely been from random events.
Many of you in the community have asked what our plan is to help stop these firearm incidents. Our major answer is a city-wide camera system, which is part of the Issue 3 police levy that is on the November ballot. The crime camera system, coupled with license plate readers, would not only serve as a major crime deterrent, but also help solve the majority of shooting incidents in the city. These are not traffic cameras or revenue generating tactics. These cameras will help us investigate and solve shootings and other major crimes substantially quicker, taking criminals out of our neighborhoods and keeping our community safe.
Chief Dan Waterman