PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As gun violence worsens in Gresham, the city announced on Tuesday they are investing in more cameras around the city to deter shootings.

The city says the cameras they already possess have been working to decrease crime. Gresham started with three cameras in 2021 but is now in the process of adding 15.

KOIN 6 News talked to businesses near one of the cameras, on Southeast Stark Street, who hope the cameras can help the city get a handle on rising violent crime.

“It helps us here at the music store if anything happens,” Aaron Diamond told KOIN 6 News.

Diamond said the music shop he works for has its own cameras, but they are also close to one of the mobile cameras the City of Gresham is implementing.

“I guess it’s good they’re doing something, there has been a lot of crime lately, it’s nice to see they’re trying something and not just letting things be,” Diamond said.

Mayor of Gresham, Travis Stovall, says the cameras will be on busy roads and downtown, but points out that they are mobile.

Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall, September 6, 2022 (KOIN)
Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall, September 6, 2022 (KOIN)

“We’re looking at areas where there’s high activity, where we can have a presence,” Stovall said. “Technically (it) is going to augment our proverbial boots on the ground … where you have a vast number of people, you have potential for things to happen.”

The city wanted to be clear that the footage is not monitored by the Gresham Police Department. They say it will be used to “gather information and aid in investigation once a crime has occurred.”

Stovall explained “it’s not about monitoring. It’s about capturing what has occurred and utilizing that information.”

The city added that because the cameras are noticeable, they have been shown to reduce crime by up to 50%.

The decision to invest in the technology comes at a time when gun violence has been rising in Portland and Gresham.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Mike Reese talked about the agreement between agencies to handle emergencies as violent crime is up and law enforcement agencies everywhere are struggling with staffing.

“We often provide mutual aid … there are times when Gresham police are responding to critical incidents, shootings, our deputies take calls for emergency assistance,” Reese said.

Meanwhile, Diamond is hopeful the cameras will help.

“If it deters one shooting, if it saves one person’s life, then it’s worth it,” Diamond said.