Helena-West Helena adding SkyCop cameras downtown

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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — We’re often telling you about problems plaguing Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, but a nonprofit is doing what it can to make a change.

SkyCop cameras will be installed soon at various locations along Cherry Street downtown.

” We wanted to take a proactive approach to fighting crime,” said Shane Williams, executive director for Main Street Helena.

The nonprofit, along with grant money, shelled out $12,600 for two SkyCop camera units with four cameras on each unit.

The plan to get the cameras has been discussed for years, but conversation really picked up back in 2017 when the bank downtown was robbed twice in a month.

“I think will provide, on one basic level, will provide greater sense of security for our visitors, just to be able to see them,” Williams said.

But downtown is just a small part of the city.

The mayor this week posted on his Facebook page, talking about the safety challenges the city is facing saying lately, teenagers have been shot and houses shot up.

The mayor is asking the public for input on what the people want to improve public safety.

The city’s police chief also said he’s working on getting federal grants to possibly put portable SkyCops in neighborhoods dealing with dangerous issues.

Williams believes the cameras downtown could be a jumping-off point.

“We’re hoping that it will provide an impetus for further cameras in West Helena and places in between,” he said.

The cameras downtown should be up in the next four to six weeks.

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