City lacks funding to repair, expand security camera network

Federal funds no longer available

INDIANAPOLIS - Officials in Indianapolis want to expand the city's surveillance camera system -- especially in light of the vital role such footage has played in the Boston Marathon investigation -- but funding is an issue.

Homeland Security officials would like to add more cameras to the 100-camera network, but they have no timeline for expansion and no clear prospects for funding since federal funds are no longer available.

Another issue, officials said, is that at any given time, 10 to 12 percent of the existing cameras don't even work.

Still, in these days of dwindling budgets and declining manpower, the cameras help police bridge the gap in manpower.

"They're a great asset for us, because they provide what we feel is a force multiplier," said Gary Coons, with Indianapolis DHS. "They provide that eye at a different level."

Metro police use the cameras downtown to manage crowds and traffic during large events and to spot and react to crimes in progress.

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs has created an efficiency team to study the camera issue to determine where they fall on the priority list and where the city might find additional funding.

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