Looks like Big Brother is on his way to Hollywood, as the city is planning to add license plate cameras around town.
According to Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez, the city has budgeted $2.2 million for the installation of the cameras, and he says they should be up and running within the year.
Fernandez pitched the idea to commissioners as the cameras being the equivalent of having ten officers at the scene of a crime in progress.
Other parts of Broward, such as Hillsboro Beach, Lighthouse Point, and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and parts of Palm Beach, like Delray and Boca, already have license plate cameras to snatch criminals, red light violators, muggers, and hamburglars all over town.
At the moment, Hollywood has about 420 cameras, but most of them aren't operating. Fernandez says part of the plan is to repair those cameras, in addition to adding new ones.
Fernandez says his aim is to make the streets of Hollywood safer, particularly Federal Highway. He says the plan is to install cameras along State Road A1A near the beach and in downtown Hollywood and State Road 7 at Young Circle.
He's also increased police presence, adding bike cops to the area known as the Downtown Corridor Bicycle Unit, which patrols the city for drug dealing and prostitution.
Fernandez has pointed out that Hollywood currently ranks fifth in the number of fatal accidents in Florida and third in bicycle accidents.
The cameras, he says, will help change those numbers.
"Be forewarned, if you're coming into Hollywood, we are going to record your license plate," Police Chief Frank Fernandez said. "So if you're involved in a crime, you'll be easier to track."
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