MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been less than one year since the Watchful Eyes Neighborhood Association in the Graceland area raised money to install its first SkyCop camera in the neighborhood, and now residents are gearing up to do it again.
"We know that MPD cannot sit in front of your house 24/7, so we know that as a neighborhood watch we have to watch out for each other,” said Bridget Bradley, President of the Watchful Eyes Neighborhood Association.
Bradley says the goal is to saturate the community with cameras.
“Most of our neighbors in our Graceland area right here, they're more elderly people, they're retired, and we just want them to feel safe when they walk out of their doors,” she said.
The SkyCop Unit is a video and audio surveillance system mounted on towers with flashing blue lights.
It comes equipped with gunshot detection, thermal imaging and license plate recognition capabilities, all from a bird's eye view.
The city currently owns about 140 cameras.
The rest were donated to the Memphis Police Department by the residents.
The average cost is $5,500 per unit with $2,500 grants available through the city.
Bradley and her team plan to raise the rest of the money through the Neighborhood Watch's annual flea market.
"Every spot is $15, and all your profits are yours,” Bradley said.
The Association is looking to secure at least 100 vendors for the flea market, with hopes that the money will go toward adding four additional cameras, including at the intersection of Millbranch Road and David Drive - which residents say is a busy entrance point to the neighborhood.
"Our goal is to repair, revamp and revitalize our community and to make it a safer and more beautiful place to live,” said Patricia Smith, a Graceland-area resident for more than 34 years.
"Let's get excited about improving our neighborhood and the city of Memphis,” Smith said.
The flea market is Saturday, June 22 from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
If you’re interested in being a vendor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 901-406-5390.