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Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 3:51pm.

WILMINGTON -- Downtown Wilmington will soon be under a close watch. The Wilmington Police Department plans to install at least 20 surveillance cameras throughout the downtown area. Police and business owners alike hope to see the cameras deter aggressive behavior. Some people who work on Front Street who have been victims of vandalism have gone as far as to install their own cameras. They say as long as privacy isn't invaded, they're all for the police department's cameras. With as many bars are there are downtown aggressive behavior tends to be alcohol-related. The cameras won't replace downtown police officers, just assist them. The plan is to have them on everything from buildings to parking decks. Downtown business owner Justin LaNasa said, "I've had lots of problems with vandals. I've had my locks glued shut one time and I installed cameras that are really high quality and I don't have a problem ever since I've done that." Downtown employee Rachel de Faut said, "If there's some sort of record of what's going on, maybe these things can be better addressed." The Wilmington Police Department received a federal grant to help fund the surveillance system. It's expected to cost about $257,000. Other city departments are considering the surveillance cameras.

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