Aurora City Council OKs $1.2 million contract to add more security cameras in the city

After receiving a $1.2 million technology grant to help pay for the project, the Aurora City Council has approved a contract to place 32 more security cameras in the city.

The city was awarded the Corridor Improvements Grants Program grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation earlier this year.

The $1.2 million contract with Scientel Solutions for the project was unanimously approved by the City Council last week.

The cameras will provide live video coverage and allow first responders to stay up to date when a situation is unfolding, officials said. They will be placed in 32 locations on city poles and sidewalks identified by Aurora police as possible problem areas that could use more security.

The project is an outgrowth of the civil unrest experienced during mid-2020 in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, when at least 65 businesses in Aurora sustained damage, city officials said.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which provided the grant, is a not-for-profit organization that is an outgrowth of the Ford Foundation going back to 1979. It seeks to link government, foundations and for-profit companies with residents and local institutions.

Police officials told aldermen that the cameras would be in public places and not used to look inside businesses or residences, or on private property. Both police and city officials warned that the cameras are just a tool to help law enforcement, not an end to themselves.

Aurora officials said the cameras would link with license plate readers the city obtained with a state grant.