By Angela Musallam

WOODLAND (CBS13) — Crime at a Woodland park has been soaring, and now police are placing an extra set of eyes in the area.

Woodland Police installed surveillance cameras at Freeman Park, right across from the courthouse.

“I think it’s stupid,” said Lori VanHoozer.

Freeman Park has been home to VanHoozer for the last 10 years.
She says drama at the park has been going on for a while, and she believes these new cameras aren’t going to scare criminals away.

“I don’t know how that’s gonna deter anything if they’re gonna do it in front of the courthouse they’re gonna do it in front of the camera,” VanHoozer added.

“It’s been ongoing since we moved here in 1999,” said Brenda Cedarblade.

Cedarblade owns Tack Warehouse and says her shop has been a target for criminals for years.

“We’ve had cars broken into, mainly issues at night. The people from the park, they come in and occasionally will steal stuff,” Cedarblade added.

She says she’s installed thousands of dollars worth of security equipment around her shop to keep the illegal activity at bay.
Woodland police say transients at the park aren’t the only ones contributing to the crime.

“We have averaged 40 to 60 calls for service,” said Sergeant Brett Hancock.

That’s each month, for the past five months.

“There’s medical calls, fight calls, there’s calls for service regarding drug use,” Hancock added.

Hancock says installing cameras around the park could help curb the recent spike in crime around the park by providing an extra set of eyes when police aren’t around.

“It’s a park. We wanna make sure it’s safe, and we want it to be a place where people can relax,” Hancock said.

But Cedarblade says she isn’t convinced cameras are the solution.

“They just take the people and shove them back behind the businesses,” Cedarblade said.

As for the transients at Freeman Park, Woodland police just launched a program with a team of officers who will begin working to get them off the streets.


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