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Crime cameras not-so-obscura 

Project NOLA is watching you

  Residents around the Baronne Street corridor soon will have the opportunity to join the network of nearly 600 security cameras privately monitored by the nonprofit group Project NOLA, with the cost offset by $100 per home or business contributed by the Delachaise Neighborhood Association.

  The cost of a high-definition crime camera through Project NOLA is $295 and, as long as it is partially aimed at a public street and has an active Internet connection, the nonprofit's volunteers will monitor it for free, giving police information and images about crimes that happen nearby. The cameras are mounted in private homes and businesses, not on public utility poles, but many neighborhood groups have begun helping their residents purchase them.

  The West Carrollton neighborhood recently received a grant to place 40 such cameras in private homes, while Broadmoor, Freret, the Irish Channel and other areas have been the focus of similar, smaller-scale projects through the office of District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

  Now, the Delachaise Neighborhood Association — which represents the area between St. Charles Avenue and South Saratoga Street, from Louisiana Avenue to Marengo Street — plans to increase its presence on the network. The association will hand out $100 grants to the first 10 homeowners who apply for Project NOLA cameras, as long as they promise to keep the camera connected to the Project NOLA network and aim it in a way that it will capture the faces or license plates of passersby.

  "If they have enough cameras, they can track the movement of criminals through the neighborhood," association president Dodd Denton said at the group's monthly meeting Nov. 19.

  Association members who can afford to purchase the cameras on their own — without the grant — are encouraged to do so in order to make the grant funds go further, Denton said. The association will keep the grant fund active in hopes they will receive more donations to fund more cameras, he said,

  "If we get more donations, then we'll do more," Denton said. "Let's go with people who are willing to put them up, and hope more money is going to follow."

  To apply for one of the grants, contact the board of directors at DNA_nola@yahoo.com. — ROBERT MORRIS | UPTOWN MESSENGER

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