Cooper Young Neighborhood Watch says surveillance cameras are making a difference, curbing violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Surveillance cameras in Cooper Young are being thanked for helping put dangerous criminals behind bars.

A city grant put the cameras in the neighborhood after the typically-safe area saw an increase in violent crime.

Courtney Oliver says a night on her porch with a friend this week quickly turned for the worst when two men approached them.

“One of them had a bandanna around his face, the other had a gun, a large gun, I don’t know what kind of gun, but he cocked it and they asked for all of our things," said Oliver.

She says it was the first time something like that has happened to her in her Cooper Young neighborhood.

“When our first instinct was to [raise our hands], when he demanded to have our stuff and when we didn’t give it to him right away, he kept saying, ‘Shoot her in the face,'" said Oliver.

The men got away with their purses, phones and iPads and disappeared, but little did they know, they were still being watched.

A camera in the neighborhood showed them take off down East Parkway in a car and it helped police arrest Antoneio Dorse, 18, for the robbery.

Jason Whitworth with Cooper Young Neighborhood Watch says cameras installed in the neighborhood from a grant last year are making a huge impact.

“We’re excited now because we’re starting to produce results," said Whitworth.

Suspects have been caught on camera in the last two armed robberies in the neighborhood.

Whitworth says he’s noticed the rash of people getting robbed while walking home from the restaurants go down as well.

He says they’re in the process of applying for more grants to double the number of cameras they have in Cooper Young.