Alderman Gardiner seeks additional POD cameras for 45th Ward, including location near recent carjacking; public safety meetings set Feb. 28 and March 10
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman James Gardiner (45th) is hoping that five to eight additional Police Observation Device cameras can be installed this year in the ward, including the site of a recent armed carjacking near Nagle Avenue and Gregory Street.
Gardiner said that he has been seeking a camera near the Nagle-Gregory intersection due to its proximity to the Kennedy Expressway, which offenders can use to make a quick getaway. The carjacking occurred Saturday morning, Feb. 12.
Multiple funding sources, including possible state and county grants, will be explored to pay the cameras, which cost about $26,000 and would include license plate reader technology, Gardiner said. He added that he also plans to ask developers for future projects to pay for a camera in the area near that particular development.
Five cameras were installed last year in the ward, and they assisted detectives in tracking a vehicle belonging to a suspect in the murder of a 19-year-old woman outside an unlicensed social club in Jefferson Park, Gardiner said. “It’s already proven that they work,” he said.
Those cameras, which include LPR technology, are located near the Lawrence-Lotus, Nagle-Northwest Highway, Milwaukee-Lawrence, Foster-Central and Milwaukee-Irving Park intersections. A grant from County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10) helped pay for the cameras.
Officers working the Strategic Decision Support Centers in each police district have access to the video feed from the POD cameras, and the full or partial license plates of vehicles used in crimes can be entered into the system, alerting the centers when a camera captures an image of the plate.
Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) has said that she is seeking to have PODs installed in Sauganash and Edgebrook. Cameras were installed last year in the 39th Ward near the Milwaukee-Elston and Kedzie-Bryn Mawr intersections.
Meanwhile, Gardiner will hold a public safety meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Branch Community Church, 6125 W. Foster Ave. It will include updates on recent crime activity in the area and information about community watch programs.
He also will hold a public safety meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, in the gym at Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Ave.