Mayor wants more security cameras


Up for discussion at Monday's City Council meeting is a proposal from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl to add more security cameras along streets surrounding Evanston Township High School.

The proposed security cameras would be an effort to increase safety for students walking to and from school, though it's also part of a larger effort to ensure safety for all residents, Tisdahl said in a memo to City Council members.

The mayor plans to seek federal grant funding for the cameras — which she suggest should be installed along Church Street from McCormick Boulevard to Ridge Avenue and on the full length of Dodge Avenue.

A powerpoint presentation on the issue will be provided by Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington. Police surveillance cameras are already located in the city's downtown area, 1st, 4th, 5th and 9th Wards.

Location of existing one- and two-camera installations downtown and in the 5th Ward.

Tisdahl's proposal follows on the heels of a controversial debate regarding a proposed "safe school zone" around ETHS. The idea was ultimately shelved by the council in early November.

Though school officials largely supported the measure, residents who attended meetings on the issue expressed concerns that they would be harassed for standing on the street corners surrounding the school.

Locations of one, two or three surveillance cameras in the 8th Ward in south Evanston.

It's possible that the new proposal — which also carries the intention of keeping students and neighbors safe — may stir up privacy concerns among residents.

Following discussion at City Council, Tisdahl will be hosting two community meetings on the issue. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Levy Center at 7 p.m. The second will take place the following week on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center at 7 p.m.

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