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Athens-Clarke County and the University of Georgia to collaborate on improved camera network downtown


Last October, ACC and UGA agreed to work together on improving the network of cameras downtown, with the university kicking in a quarter million dollars. Now, UGA officials are adding an additional $100,000 to the pot.

The money will go towards adding more cameras and upgrading the 27 existing cameras.

Carol Myers represents District 8 on the Athens-Clarke County Commission. She spoke at a commission meeting on Tuesday.

"We've received a lot of criticism in recent months about not being supportive of the Police Department and UGA, and I think this is an opportunity to show that support," Myers said.

Under the terms of the partnership, UGA and ACC police would both have access to footage from the cameras. In response to a question from District 6 Commissioner Jesse Houle, County Manager Blaine Williams confirmed that, currently, the county does not hold on to footage for very long.

"These cameras, we don't have the staff to watch them, we just don't. And so I believe there is a temporary loop, maybe 24 or 48 hours, if something happens and we can access the footage, but I don't think we're storing [the footage] at all," Williams told commissioners.

Commissioners will have to approve the extra infusion of money from UGA at their meeting on November 1. The measure is expected to be non-controversial.

County staff say that five of the county’s 27 cameras are not currently operational. Statistics from the ACCPD indicate that there have been five shootings downtown this year. None have been fatal.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.