Vicksburg Housing Authority to install high-tech cameras at its properties

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Vicksburg Housing Authority is increasing its security with the installation of video cameras at its six properties.

VHA Executive Director Ben Washington said the housing authority will spread the 100 cameras among its six properties of Beechwood Estates, Cedars Estates, Urban Court, Valley Court, Waltersville Estates and Rolling Acres.

“Those new cameras are programmable, have facial recognition, identity, search for a car — search by color,” Washington said. “The cameras will be monitored at the VHA offices, the city will have access; we’re going to get the police department log-in access so they can monitor those cameras 24/7.”

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Washington in October signed a joint agreement with the city of Vicksburg to mount the cameras on Entergy utility poles, adding, “Entergy required the agreement. The previous policy allowed us to use the poles, but Entergy changed its policy to only allow governmental agencies to use poles and required an agreement, so we did a third-party agreement with the city.”

VHA, he said, is covering all costs.

“The cameras are paid for and the installation is paid for by us.”

Washington said VHA in the summer of 2021 experienced a rash of shootings with some at Rolling Acres and drive-by shooting complaints at Waltersville.

“I don’t know; for one month it just seemed like there was something going on back and forth,” he said. “It was like every other day people were calling that ‘someone’s riding through here,’ or ‘some shooting’s going on.’ I don’t know if it was retaliation or back and forth with people but it kind of ended and went away.”

He said there haven’t been a lot of problems since.

“I think we had an incident a few months ago,” he said. “We had some cameras installed and were able to give it to the city and they were able to use it twice in two cases they had but those old cameras are two times less the caliber of the new ones we’re getting.

“We’re looking forward to getting these new cameras installed and they’re really high tech and expect a cut down in crime; we’re looking forward to using them,” Washington added.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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