Pendleton crime on the rise, but security cameras save city big money

PENDLETON, OR. - Numbers say crime is up in Pendleton, but police tell KEPR numbers do not tell the whole story. Big money is being saved in Pendleton, thanks to security cameras around the city.

Crime is on the rise in Pendleton, including crimes committed by people who aren't even from there. A Umatilla man was recently busted for robbing a Pendleton drug store right after being released from the Umatilla County Jail.

"It is a common occurrence and that is one of the challenges of having a jail within your community dealing with issues such as that," said Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts.

Pendleton has seen a 14 percent spike in arrests in the last year.

"It really forces us to be more creative with how we do business and I don't always think that's a bad thing," said Roberts.

Getting creative for police meant installing a nine camera surveillance system in areas known for crime providing a deterrent. Pendleton police say crimes by juveniles have dropped by a third. Police say a large part is because of the extra eye in the sky.

"If they have to stop and think about should I this, than we are making an impact," said Roberts.

The cameras were installed near the River Walk, adjacent to the high school. Police think the cameras have saved thousands of dollars in would-be damages. And one nearby resident says he has seen a big difference.

"Windows have been broken out, but since the cameras and police have come down, we haven't had any cases," said local business owner Gail McDougall.

Cutting down crime and giving locals a peace of mind.

"It gives me more confidence and security when I come back to work, knowing that I haven't been broken into," said McDougall.

Police tell KEPR they plan to expand and add more cameras to different parts of the city in the future.