Surveillance Upgrade

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Hidden behind a blue frosted shell, surveillance cameras keep a watchful eye even when others think no one's looking.

"I don't think they work cause if the cameras worked everything that goes on out here would have been caught on camera," says Blackhawk resident Monique Stewart.

But they are working. They're just not always on. The Rockford Housing Authority says their 30-some cameras only record at random times and only point in the direction managers tell it to. Which is why they don't capture all criminal activity.

"If the camera was on a pan it won't always capture because it might turn away see something and turn back," says Paul Hackerson, the Director of Management Services for RHA.

Since the cameras are hooked up to the internet, there's been problems with them getting booted off-line. But that's about to change. The cameras are getting a six-thousand dollar upgrade allowing them to work at full-capacity.

"Even if a tree limb drops blocks the signal somehow it trips it out of line this upgrade is supposed to continue the cogency," Hackerson says.

So when the internet goes down, surveillance continues. Allowing managers to assist the Rockford Police in gathering evidence for crimes committed in housing projects.

RHA leaders say the cameras aren't there just for security, but to help with maintenance. So while they help police at times, that's not their main duty.