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Vogiatzakis wants to add surveillance to downtown to promote safety

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Mayoral candidate Mike Vogiatzakis

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Mayoral candidate Michael Vogiatzakis wants to use closed-circuit cameras to create a "safe zone" in downtown Winnipeg.

Vogiatzakis pledged Friday to create a pilot project aimed at reducing crime in downtown. It would involve placing wireless closed-circuit cameras around a problematic section of downtown - and expanding the cameras into other areas when that proved successful.

Speaking outside city hall, Vogiatzakis said he does not know what the program would cost, either in terms of startup capital or in terms of the labour required to monitor the cameras.

He said he does not believe there would be privacy concerns associated with placing cameras in public spaces, asserting law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. Cameras are monitoring people ‎in many places, he said.

Vogiatzakis also pledged to create a $20-million "control centre" that could be used to ensure emergency vehicles can pass through intersections safely. He also promised to have police cadets assume more duties.

The cadets would take over parking enforcement from the Winnipeg Parking Authority, if he's elected mayor. He said he was not sure how much it would cost to cancel the parking authority's existing enforcement contract‎ with G4S Security.

Winnipeggers elect their next mayor Oct. 22. Vogiatzakis, a funeral director, is one of seven candidates who have registered their campaigns. Also registered are lawyer Brian Bowman, Michel Fillion, Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck, University of Manitoba lecturer Robert-Falcon Ouellette, former city councillor Gord Steeves and former NDP MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

The ballot will be set in September, after nomination papers are due.

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