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      More cameras could mean less crime in Columbia

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Surveillance cameras often play a significant role in catching criminals a claim that's been proven in the Capital City.

      First Quarter numbers show that violent crimes are down 30 percent and the Columbia Police Department thinks adding more cameras will aid in continuing their efforts.

      "We're looking at capturing everything that comes in and out of the city when it comes to vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic so it will be a deterrent against anyone thinking about coming to the city to commit crimes," said Chief Ruben Santiago.

      The department has drafted up a plan that would place nearly 800 cameras in parks, neighborhood entrances and at several major intersections throughout the city.

      The cameras will cost roughly 600 thousand dollars.

      A bill Mayor Steve Benjamin says he's willing to foot for the safety of the city.

      "I think that's an invaluable tool that we need to be proud of not worried about how much it will cost it's a worth while investment," said Benjamin.

      According to Mayor Benjamin, the city is reviewing several ways to pay for the cameras admitting the general fund, drug seizure monies and hospitality are all options for funding.