Cleveland adjusts Homeland Security cameras after I-Team report

CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I-Team is getting action after exposing on of Cleveland's Homeland Security cameras pointed at a small patch of pavement.

City hall now said it’s taking new steps to make sure all of its cameras are focused on something that could help protect you.

We started asking questions about a camera at West 25th and Lorain Avenue, which didn’t capture key evidence in a hit-and-run crash. Video showed the camera recorded only a section of one crosswalk.

So we wondered is that really how the camera should be set? We went to Larry Jones, the city’s man in charge of the street security cameras.

Jones said the cameras should be framed to see the middle of intersections. As a result of our story, the city said it has made a high-tech adjustment to have the cameras automatically move themselves back into place if they’re left framed like the one we found.

"This is smart technology. So the camera can tell itself, 'I haven't been moved in 25 minutes, so I'm gonna automatically reset myself to its home position,'" Jones said.

Police can pan, tilt or zoom the cameras while investigating. The new system will serve as a back-up to make sure a camera doesn’t get moved and forgotten.

"We don't want to interfere with what the officer's doing, but we also want to be cognizant of, 'Hey, this camera should be focused on the intersection,'" Jones said.

Another big concern we’ve found is police coming to these cameras to get key evidence, only to find the cameras are out of service. The city said it now has a maintenance contract with a company to make sure the cameras keep watching. The city said, as of Tuesday morning, 95 percent of them were working.

City hall also said staff should be looking at what every camera is seeing about once a day, too.

One taxpayer reacted simply, “They should be functional.”

The city said it has about 130 of the security cameras all over town, but it is currently adding more.