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Private property camera fees not unreasonable

The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen are working to put more crime cameras throughout the city.

In the past year, surveillance cameras have contributed to a drop in the city’s violent crime rate and have helped lead to several arrests.

The city recently allocated $16,000 to buy more cameras through Project NOLA that will be made available to people in the community who are willing to put them on their homes or businesses.

After the money was allocated for the cameras, however, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong came to the board’s next meeting and asked the board to consider charging people who agree to host the cameras $20 per month to pay for the cloud storage fee.

The city also is considering using a grant to help pay some of those storage fees for the first year or two but that is still up in the air.

Regardless, we believe more cameras will be effective in helping curtail and solve crimes throughout the city and support the idea of the city providing cameras to businesses and residents who are willing to host them.

While some may bristle at the notion of asking homeowners and businesses who host the cameras to pay a monthly fee, we do not believe it is an unreasonable request, considering the city is footing the bill for the cameras and installations.

And, no one is forcing residents or businesses to participate. It is an opt-in program.

Sure, the city plans to install some of those cameras in high-crime areas and will pay the monthly cloud fee in those areas.

For others, if you want a crime camera from the city, be prepared to pay the monthly cloud fee. If not, get your own camera, which, by the way, will more than likely charge a monthly fee for cloud storage as well.

Regardless, the more surveillance cameras, the more likely criminals will be captured and crime curtailed.