Security cameras to be installed in LOHOBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Burglars beware! New security cameras are soon going up in the LOHO neighborhood.
The city of Jackson recently approved plans to install the devices at five of the neighborhood’s main entrances.
LOHO board president John Morgan Hughes hopes to have the cameras in place sometime this month.
From there, neighborhood leaders will turn their focus to other projects designed to brand the area and build community pride.
Efforts come more than a year after Hughes’ home was broken into twice in a matter of weeks, incidents that spurred him to take action.
Since then, the LOHO association was reformed, a new board of directors was elected and master plan was formally adopted. In the spring, LOHO submitted its plans for security cameras to Jackson planning officials for consideration.
“Any time you put something in the city right-of-way, the city naturally has to approve that,” he said. “Robert Lee and Jordan Hillman have been fantastic to work with.”
Hillman is deputy director of planning. Lee is traffic manager for public works.
LOHO will install cameras at five of the neighborhood’s main entrances – one at each end of Northeast Drive, one at each end of Roxbury Road and one at Douglass Drive where it meets Meadowbrook Road, Hughes said.
Cameras will be installed at the remaining entrances in a subsequent phase.
“The cameras are crime prevention tools. We want them to be a physical reminder that this is not a good place to commit property crime,” he said. “In the event that something does happen, we can give footage to the Jackson Police Department.”
The cameras are being funded with neighborhood dollars, as well as $7,500 grant from the LeFleur East Foundation.
The foundation established the grant previously to help neighborhoods in the LeFleur East area to purchase cameras with the goal of eventually creating a district-wide surveillance system.
The devices installed are from Mobotix, and are “the gold standard of community surveillance hardware and software,” Hughes said.
He explained footage will be monitored by a subcommittee of LOHO board members, who will follow bylaws established by the LOHO board. “We have some well thought out procedures on when, where and why someone can access footage,” he said.
In addition to the cameras, the neighborhood is also moving forward with plans to install additional signage and create a community green space and dog park.
New black and white street signs will soon be replacing the existing street signs in the neighborhood. The association is also installing two new “Welcome to LOHO” signs to help brand the area. The four-foot green and white signs will be similar to the smaller LOHO placards many association members have in their front yards.
As for the dog park, LOHO is now collecting donations to build the green space and has established a fund with the LeFleur East Foundation. Donations to the account are tax-deductible, because they fall under the foundation’s umbrella, Hughes said.
“We have five vacant lots in LOHO, and two (houses) that will be condemned and become vacant lots,” he said.
Funds will likely be used to purchase one or two of those properties, clean them and establish the community green spaces.
“When we finish phase two of the security project, that’s where we’ll turn our guns,” Hughes said. “Hopefully, we can get that done by 2020.”
LOHO runs from Meadowbrook Road in the north to Eastover Drive in the south. It is bordered by the I-55 North frontage road to the west and Ridgewood Road to the east. Approximately 150 homeowners have joined the association.