Cooper Young neighborhood watch posting its own surveillance system

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With growing crime concerns across the city, the Cooper Young neighborhood in Midtown has a unique plan to fight back.

It will be posting 72 surveillance cameras around the neighborhood, just like the ones you'd buy for your home.

"The only difference is that the cameras will be directed to public rights-of-way's streets, alleys, sidewalks," said Aaron James, the neighborhood watch coordinator.

He worked with MPD on the project.

He said the money the city collects from violations caught by traffic cameras is dished out as grant money to registered neighborhood watches.

Cooper Young is broken up into six zones of about 250 homes.

Each zone was awarded a grant for the cameras, which totaled $15,000.

"This keeps everyone engaged. It makes them realize that they are a part of their own community security program," said James.

The cameras will record 24/7.

The footage will be kept for a week and will be managed by neighbors who will only access it when a crime happens.

James hopes to have the cameras up and running by the end of April, and that this project inspires others.

"We hope this is infectious," he said. "We want other neighborhoods to be interested."

James said they will have money left over from the grant, and it will be used for things like National Night Out events and more signage.

Photo: Cooper Young Cameras

If you'd like to find out more about the grant, click here.

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