Chief Says Businesses Using Cameras Could Expand the Network

By Brett Martin |

Published 04/16 2014 07:15AM

Updated 04/16 2014 08:15AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After a recent stabbing suspect is arrested, Springfield Police say technology helped solve the crime quickly.

Chief Paul Williams credits video cameras downtown for helping in that arrest.

He says if more cameras were available, other crimes could be solved the same way.
Tom Billionis owns The Coffee Ethic on Park Central Square in downtown Springfield and says its typically quiet.

"We don't see a ton of things happening out there that shouldnt be happening anymore."

Last week, the peaceful square turned into a crime scene after a man was stabbed.

"The video surveillance downtown indicated it was an altercation during the two."

Less than 24 hours later, Police Chief Paul Williams sent this tweet out crediting cameras on the square for an arrest.

"When something happens, we have the ability to go look at it and utilize them to try to solve a crime."

While they are controlled by the city, he says cameras put more eyes on the streets for police.

"Chicago and San Jose have both done this, where they’ve allowed people to register with the city and say, we have a camera system in place and we will allow the police to come look at that if a crime has occurred."

Chief Williams says he'd like to see cameras across Springfield so the impacts they have made right here in Park Central Square can be felt more widespread.

Williams says getting businesses involved is the easiest way to expand the network.

"We hope to have a plan in place that will allow businesses to kind of register with us if they have a camera system."

He says the businesses would monitor their own but allow police to use it if a crime happens.

"We're not talking about networking all these cameras together and having somebody sit down and look at stuff, we are talking about taking those cameras that are already out there or might be out there and recording public places."

Billionis says he's in favor of anything to keep him and his customers safe.

"It gives us an additional sense of security, just knowing the film is there if its ever needed."

Williams says the city is revamping its current website and hopes to be able to combine their cameras with others if he can get the program started.

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