Virgina police to have a new tool to keep an eye on crime

By KBJR News 1

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- A surge in crime from vandalism to burglaries has prompted Virginia City officials to take action to keep an eye on crime.

"We have had a rash of crime in the last year. During the day we are hub to 80,000 people, we have 20–some thousand cars coming in daily," said Mayor Louis Russo.

In order to keep the peace the city will be installing 61 security cameras around the city.

"We will be able to monitor stuff right from our police station, and in about a year we will have the capability to monitor from the squad cars," said Russo.

The cameras and the system will cost the city nearly $300,000, but councilors say it will be worth the money.

"It's a pretty substantial investment for the city and this will be the first stage of many," said Councilor Mike Ralston. "We will continue to budget dollars for additional cameras and additional hardware."

City leaders say the locations of the cameras will not be disclosed, however one camera will be placed at the Veterans Memorial Park and another at the Children's Memorial Park.

"We have had vandalism. Last year someone did try to remove letters from the statue and we just want to make sure its secure," said Chair of the Children's Memorial Park Committee, Cheryl Weappa.

The Children's memorial and the veteran's memorial committees will be paying for each of the cameras that will be put at those sites.

City officials hope to have the cameras installed by the fall.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.