Greektown Businesses Install Security Cameras on Streets

The new surveillance is part of Detroit’s Project Green Light.

The streets of Greektown are now monitored by surveillance cameras that feed video directly to the Detroit Police Department. Eleven businesses in the district collectively joined the city’s two-year-old Green Light program, Mayor Mike Duggan announced today.

Their membership in the program is denoted by glowing green cubes that have been added to the downtown neighborhood’s streetscape. The new square lights, Duggan said, are a departure from the program’s original ones, which looked more like the lights found on top of hockey goals, except green.

WDET/Laura Herberg

“When we started, we created the brightest, flashing green lights the chief could imagine,” Duggan said.

Those first lights made an appearance back in 2016. Since then more than 200 business have voluntarily signed up for the program, which can cost thousands of dollars in their initial year.

“Now, as the number continues to climb… we’re going to have more subdued signage that indicates this is a Green Light corridor, and everybody’s going to know,” the mayor said at the announcement.

This is the first time a group of business owners in one district have joined at the same time, according to the city. 

Businessman Jim Papas said security cameras will feed video to the Detroit Police Department from the streets but not from within businesses.

“Obviously some people may feel that they don’t want to be watched while they’re in the restaurant or a particular business,” he said. “Inside the businesses, every business has their own security system and camera so it’s not necessary to have double things.”

This is a departure from the established Green Light model.  The gas stations, fast food restaurants and liquor stores that previously joined the program were required to install new high-definition cameras inside their businesses. The cost of that set up ranged from around $1,000 to $5,000, depending on if businesses rented or owned their equipment. Businesses that rent then go on to pay up to $250 per month plus internet service.

WDET/Sandra Svoboda

Because the businesses joined as a group, the Greektown collective was able to avoid paying installation fees, officials said. The set-up costs have been worked into the price of a three-year contract where each business will pay $250 per month. City officials say this was done because the establishments signed on as part of a new “Green Light Corridor” model.  If at least five “closely-situated” businesses sign on as partners for the program, they too may be eligible for this benefit.

Click here to listen to unedited audio from the press conference where this was announced.

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  • Laura Herberg
    Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.