Third Unitarian Church, 501 N. Mayfield

Earlene Hayden
“The cameras that were put on the West Side of the city of Chicago, they’ve been a big help because it’s for the drug trade, but also there are a lot of traffic accidents, and it helps in that way too.”

Kelvy Brown
“What the police cameras do is actually move people from different corners and discourage drug use in certain areas. The issue is they tend to move into other areas, so as long as you’re able to stay on top of where they go to, and those other hot spot areas and move resources into those areas too, then it’s a good thing. But it definitely slows the trade down in certain areas because people know the cameras are there and they’ve shown to be effective in arresting people in certain spots.”

Stephanie Dixon
“I believe that the cameras have made some changes to the West Side, but not enough change. The police need to work more on the neighborhoods themselves, not just the corners. They need to be more in-depth on the people that’s selling the drugs and doing the crime. This will help crack down on the drug trade more. But I do believe the cameras have helped.”

Zephyr Beason
“I work on the West Side and the cameras only move the crime to another block, not really eliminating it. People just shift their location, so it may not be happening on Madison Street, but [on] the streets behind Madison or the streets near Madison.”

Camille Williamson
“I don’t think the cameras are the necessary intervention to solve some of the social problems that go on in the West Side or any other area that has improvised conditions. Most of the time [with] crime and things like that, you need more social structures, more resources, more opportunities for people to take care of themselves, more resources for people to build, and more advantages for people to make changes within their communities”not cameras.”

Rev. Doris Green
“I think it’s a sad situation that we have to have cameras in our community. I don’t know whether it has helped, judging from the news reports, it does not look like it has helped. I don’t know who it’s helping. It’s a sad situation that we no longer can trust our kids or our kids can’t trust us, or our young people can’t trust us. The only thing the crackdown has done is help the prison system because they are packing them all into the prisons. They are just moving them from one community to another, but I don’t see any help.”

Earnest Edward Hite
“I think the installation of the cameras have just moved the problem to different areas. What our people who are in the illicit drug trade do is once they realize a area is marked, they move it around. So the problem is only moving. What is not happening is addressing the root issue of jobs, of development of areas for businesses to flourish on the West Side. These things are not happening. So it’s only a bandage to the real problem that’s economic in nature.”