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Police have more "eyes" on busy intersections, business districts

These cameras with livestreaming capabilities will be installed over the next few months.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Have you noticed the new cameras on Devine Street in Columbia near the Food Lion, and at the intersection of Farrow Road and Killian Road in northeast Richland County? We have, too. 

As it turns out, we'll be seeing more of them sticking out around Columbia and parts of Richland County over the course of the next few months. 

Two hundred of these new cameras with blue lights at the top are being installed by Columbia police, with about 50 up already since September 2022. 

The goal is to curb crime in busy areas.

"It's everything: Murders, car thefts, shootings, robbery of individuals, theft of just common things, accidents," Johnny Sellers a Columbia Police inspector said.

Columbia Police says the camera concept is not new. They started putting them up back in 2013. These cameras just have better technology and every single one of them has live streaming capability. 

As for location, they'll be placed in populated public areas. 

"What we did is we just looked at a lot of our data, like I said, we wanted to look at our business districts and focus on those areas," Sellers said.

Locals explain they don't mind it, as long as the camera installation is in the name of public safety.

"As long as nobody's rights are being violated and it's keeping the area, and the college and its students safe, I don't have a problem with that," Joseph Bias a Columbia resident said.

Columbia Police say since its inception, investigators heavily rely on these cameras to solve crimes. 

According to Columbia Police, the cost of this new camera system is around $8M over the next five years.

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