Unfortunately, not every part of the City of Williamsport is perfectly safe and crime-free.
The city has made great strides in cutting down on the crime rate, as evidenced in many statistics, but it still has crime-prone areas.
In those places, city police need extra help to protect citizens. The planned installation of surveillance cameras in some of those areas will hopefully help make the city safer. City Council is scheduled to act on bids for the camera installation at its May 17 meeting.
Last week, Flanigan Park was formally added to the surveillance camera list when the Lycoming County Housing Authority approved a lease agreement with the city that will allow installation of three utility poles and mounted surveillance cameras in the park. The cameras will be paid for with federal Homeland Security funding.
Few people would dispute that this is a good place to put the surveillance cameras. It's a public facility and there is a track record of some crime and safety issues at the park.
We realize the people who make crime their life's work can find ways to get around surveillance cameras. But the extra eyes and evidence gathering for police of activity at the park can't hurt. Citizens, too, have an obligation to help our police through both Neighborhood Crime Watch programs and individual reporting of suspicious activity.
There always will sadly be some crime. But where there is, it is up to both the city and right-minded citizens to be a thorn in the side of criminals. Don't make it easy on them. And where crime can be brought to a halt, that impact should be sought.
Time will tell the full effect of these cameras. But they are certainly worth a try.