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Cameras Cut Down On Crime: Does Westchase Need Them?

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is adding 10 more surveillance cameras to its arsenal. Is this something your neighborhood could benefit from?

The University Area of Tampa is one of the most densely populated and has among the highest crime rates in Tampa Bay.

Which is why about three years ago Hillsborough County Sheriff Major J.R. Burton worked to launch the "Eye On Crime" program. With a $1.3 million federal grant, the office purchased 20 closed-circuit television cameras and placed them throughout the University Area community.

The cameras are clearly visible, marked with Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office signs and have a blue strobe light on them.

The project has paid off, Burton said.

"We've seen some huge double reductions in crime in this area up here," he said. "It's strictly correlated. The day we put the cameras up crime started going down. And the neighborhood really embraced it."

With that success, the office will be adding 10 more of the cameras in the neighborhood in the coming weeks in the same general area, but on existing Hillsborough County traffic poles.

The new cameras, which cost about $15,000 each, will be purchased by the Sheriff's Office.

So Westchase, with the success of the Eye On Crime program in the University Area, do you think it could work in our community? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

sharon poole September 19, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Westchase does not need surveillance cameras. We have enough big brother in our lives already. Westchase is one of the safest communities in Tampa. Tax money should be used improving roads in this area. Not on big brother cameras.
Marianne Henson September 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Not only does west chase need them, but all the surrounding areas need them as well. This is BS. Should we chase out crime in west chase where the people truly believe they are privilaged and send the crime in to Citris Park / Town & Country area. I clearly remember when west chase was called Town & Country and they used their influnce to change the boundries, so they would be considered Citris Park. Shame on Westchase hipocrictic opinions of themselves. We are all residents, citizens & neighbours of one another. Why are u so special. I bet your crime rate is the lowest, or I maybe wrong you all believe you are so wealthy, you may have a dope ring in your community. Stop being predatory. We and our surrounding areas are a community, not just Westchase. What's good for Westchase is just as equal for the surrounding communities, otherwise what's chased out of Westchase is pushed near by. Fight for the entire surrounding community. I'm sick to death of Me, Me, & Me. Sick & Tired
Marianne Henson September 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Here, Here!
Kathy September 21, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I agree with Marianne! Love where u say "there maybe a dope ring in your community". It's true!! There are!!! And nothing is being done about it. Just because of the name "Westchase" doesn't mean its the best and safe! It has it's problems just like its surrounding areas.
Ralph September 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Just because someone lives in Westchase, it doesn't mean they are "privileged". Myself and the people I know are able to live here because we worked our butts off.
Marianne Henson September 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I work hard too. You just proved you are a bigot, who believes your more entitled than your sourounding communities. They work just as hard. Do you believe that the more money you make, the moe privilaged you are. My comment was a satire to bring out the small minded, self centered residents of my community. Just because WESTCHASE things their above it all, doesn't mean you deserve more than your surrounding communities. My comment was a satire, but true. You were snagged Ralph.
Nick September 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM
With the new Camden Apartments going up (WHOS IDEA WAS THAT!?!?!?) I say we will need them in the future....*sigh*
Marianne Henson September 27, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Again, shame, shame, the Camden apartments are going to cost a fortune to rent, and that means our future residents will have to work their butts off to afford them, quoted by Ralph above? Our tax dollars s/b spent wisely. I had and have inside knowledge of things that the ordinary resident do not. There have been serious budget cuts over the last 5 to 6 years. They barely can afford to pay their own employees. Employees that exceed over 20 years on the job had to reapply for their positions, and many were domoted. There are only so many tax dollars to go around and cameras for Westchase should not be an expense that should come out of our tax dollars. We need to reconsider. There is only so much money to go around, and we need so much more important things to do with our tax dollars. As Ralph put it', the residents of Westchase work their butts off, then maybe Westchase should do a fund raiser to pay for the cameres. No one wants their taxes to go up, but they want everything for them. We budget our personal dollars and, we should respectfully budget our tax dollars. Where is all this Money going to come from? My taxes are high enough and like my personal budget, I prioritize my income and expenses. That frame of thought should include our taxes. You can't get everything we want. There are more important things on the plate of the County Commissoners' agenda. I'm a conserative and this proposed project is not fiscally sound to waste our tax dollars on. Stop w/ me, me & me.
alice September 27, 2012 at 04:16 PM
If you are not doing something wrong, what is the problem??
Marianne Henson September 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Bravo Alice! You get it. I admire you sentiment. If Westchase is worried about crime and feels they need Big Brothrt, then thet should consider restructuring their Homeowners' Committee by added sub-committees for safety patrols and other subcommittees for issues that are important to Westchase. These programs are sponored and traing is provided by the Sheriffs' office for free. There is so much the residents can do on their own w/o wasting tax dollars in this time of enconomic uncertainity. If you want something bad enough you can get it w/o waiting tax dollars that we all work hard for. Nothing is for free, there's always a price to pay. I for one would prefer my community paid with their time then all the Counties' tax fund. I would have NO OBJECTION if the camera cost was taken from a special tax accessed only for the indivials who are in favor of the spy camers'(lol.) give your time and prioritize everyone's tax dollars. We all work our butt off and we pay big dollars in taxes (seen & unseen.) Give your time, it's satisfying, make new friends, & network.
Wes T. Chase October 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM
A "satire" huh, Marianne? Bull. Bull. Bull!! You don't just make that stuff up. That is EXACTLY how you feel about Westchase. You are a bitter, spiteful, miserable self loathing Westchase wannabe! We need security cameras to keep people like you out of our neighborhood!
Marianne Henson October 02, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Your spiteful & hateful comment proved my point. You are a bigot & truly believe your above anyone who doesn't share your opinion. You are a name calling coward who couldn't even sign your real name. I believe, you think you are above it all. Well those cameras cost a lot of tax dollars from all County residents. I'm not a wantabe, as you put it. I live quite community and a beautiful home with all the amenities I need. I leave not far from you, & I have many friends in Westchase. This isn't a contest about mine is bigger than yours. This is about spending our tax dollars wisely. we don't want a tax increase, but you want everything your heart desires from our tax dollars. i worked for the Board of County Commissioners for nearly 20 years. I was & still have the inside track with the County & I know things the public doesn't always keep up on. It's not peaches & cream for the County's economic out look right now. They have had to cut programs, let go of many staff, and demote a lot of employees. The Commissioners do their best to keep our taxes down in this long suffering economic down fall. I'm lucky to live in a nice, quiet, small community, not far from you. Westchase is a fine community with little to no crime, as opposed to many areas, such as east County & the USF area, as an example, & there's far more, such as the projects. That's only a few areas that need cameras far more than Westchase. I have nothing to be jealous of about you. You should inform yourself better.
Marianne Henson October 02, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I forgot Wes T Chase, your so lucky that your name sounds just like the name of your sub-division. You are the what a be. Get over your self centered self. Right back at you. You have made the most self centered remarks. All you are capable of is name calling. You don't care about anyone, but your self serving needs. Your comment to me had nothing to do with the subject of cameras, the impact of not having them in your community or any worries about fiscal responsibility. It was just all hateful. I can bet what people think of you. Your just filled with hot air.
Wes T. Chase October 02, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Marianne, you are absolutely correct, my response has nothing to do with the camera issue. I happen to agree that cameras in Westchase would be a waste of money and are not needed here. My response was in direct response to your ridiculous hateful comments and generalization of your perceived view of Westchase residents. And then you pretend that it was "satire". What a joke. Take a long look in the mirror and address the true source of your misery and stop spreading your poison. The residents of Westchase are good people whether you choose to believe it or not. I cannot believe a 55 year old woman would engage in such childish behavior. Stay put in your "Nesting Place" and stop causing problems on a public message board. You came to the Westchase Patch for one reason only! You came here to be caddy and stir the pot. Enough out of you.
Marianne Henson October 02, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Dear West T Chase, I must have hit a button with you. Because your first response was venom. Your second response you agreed with my position of the cameras, but you couldn't resist name calling again. You have nothing better to do than research me and look for my address and find out where I live. I wasn't wrong about my assumption of you.. Your comments appear as if you are a person with no life. And I'll take a good guess by your writing and behavior that you are a small minded person with no life, except to make hateful comments & shuttle threats. I've said all I had too on my last response, and if you dare send me another reply like the last one, I will contact the Sheriffs Department as I find that your researching me is a form of stalking. And then I will contact the Westchase Patch website and report you. I've given my position from day one. However, your response was to degrade me and research my personal life and look up my address, age and what ever other personal information about me.. When I called you on it, you agreed with my position and then you again had too make ugly remarks. What kind of person takes a comment board and researches a person's personal information. This is a discussion board, not a filthy name calling board that you can hide behind with a fake name. Remember this coward, if you reply to me again with your threats and filth, I will be making good on my promise to report you to every agency that will give you a legal headache.
Marianne Henson October 02, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Dear West T Chase, the above is a copy of the message I sent to patch .com. If you dare to contact me again, there will be problems for you.. This is a serious warning to you. You have proved that you are not able to discuss an issue. And when you are called on it, you threaded them by calling them names & researching their personal life. How about giving me your name, address and age, and any other information you paid for on the Internet about me. I need your information, so I can file a stalking complaint against you. I'm not going to stop. You have crossed the line. This website is about opinions, not name calling and paying a website for information about someone, b/c their comment is informed, as per your name calling & researching my personal information.. It is you who needs a more than a life. I've reported what I can to the Sheriffs' department. I have many family members who are police officers, so I suggest you better stop researching me, as I will press charges of stalking and harassment. Your behavior is not law abiding or normal. You can only hide behind your fake name for so long like a coward trying to scare people. Such braveness on your part.. This is my 1st & last warning to you. Back off or you will be in more trouble than you expected. Remember IP address are traceable. I hope you understand your cowardly actions were against the law and is considered stalking & harassment by law.

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