Surveillance cameras now required at Richmond Heights apartment complexes, police hope other cities follow suit

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly one year after the Richmond Heights City Council passed legislation requiring the city’s apartment complexes to install surveillance cameras, police say the system is paying off.

The mandate recently went into effect; three of the city’s four apartment complexes have complied.

The fourth complex is in the process of adding cameras to its buildings.

“This is a two-pronged approach in solving and preventing crime in our city. We’re going to do the best we can to get these situations resolved,” said officer Drayy Wilkerson, a Richmond Heights patrolman. “When people see these cameras up, they know that they’re being watched.”

The department has real-time monitors inside the police station that allows officers to watch the live camera feeds.

The new system recently helped officers identify potential suspects in a string of car thefts

“We’re trying to be the best at responding to these situations in a timely manner. When we have these cameras up and we can see as the incidents are happening, we can respond accordingly,” Wilkerson told 19 News.

“I think it’s a very good idea, especially with the crime rate up and things going on in this world today,” said Lakeisha Caldwell, who lives in one of the apartments. “Especially with my kids out here playing ... I think it’s a very good idea.”

The apartment complexes are responsible for the costs of the security systems, which must be operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cameras are required to be placed at each entrance and exit and positioned in a way that allows faces to be seen as people go in and out.

Chief Tom Wetzel told 19 News he’d like to see other area communities enact similar legislation.

Officer Wilkerson agreed.

“I would hope that other agencies take heed and get these cameras so we can be on the same accord and possibly interact with other agencies in viewing their footage to see if some of these cases could tie together,” he said.

The Richmond Heights Police Department will review the surveillance systems each year to make sure they’re up to standards.