More security cameras going up in historic St. Charles

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI)-- City officials and business owners plan to keep adding surveillance cameras along historic Main Street St. Charles in the years to come.  The historic area is an economic engine for the community.

On weekends, North Main’s bar and restaurants can become crowded and rowdy.  In the past year, seven security cameras have been added.  They cost about $12,000.  They were paid for by the city and business owners. They are like a security blanket for visitors on this historic street.

John Knoll works for the city of St. Charles. He says, “We’re looking to preserve it, deter crime and bring more visitors down here to feel safe.”

The general manager of Quintessential Dining and Nightlife thinks the cameras are a win, win for everyone.  G.M. Eric Sohn said, “I think it makes our guests feel safe. It makes my staff feel safe. I have employees who leave here at night. It’s great for preventing crime as well as prosecuting those that do something down here.”

City officials are following the lead of places like the Central West End and the loop in University City and adding the cameras.  In St. Charles, some of the cameras are hidden in a bird cage like device, so far the cameras helped police file charges against a man who stole a purse.

The plan is to add even more cameras later this year and even more in future years all the way down South Main which is home to many shops.  Customers wonder if they are really needed there. Lisa Steel, a shopper, said, “I’m normally down here in the afternoon or early evening and there’s absolutely no need for it at that time. I’ve always felt perfectly safe.”

Vicky Hansen has owned the European Accent gift shop for several years.  Hansen said, “It’s probably a good idea. A lot of the bad press about Main Street St. Charles I think is probably overblown. I’m a business owner down here, and I feel perfectly safe every day."

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