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Published November 04, 2012, 08:28 PM

Fargo man publishes his own crime statistics for downtown Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo man frustrated with the city's new downtown surveillance cameras is taking his anger one step further, now publishing his own crime statistics.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Fargo man frustrated with the city's new downtown surveillance cameras is taking his anger one step further, now publishing his own crime statistics.

Tony Gehrig released his crime findings in a letter to the editor, but Fargo Police say his facts are wrong.

Five weeks after new surveillance cameras were put up to stop crime in downtown Fargo, several people are still trying to get them down.

Gehrig: "The residents of Fargo have been told crime downtown has been on the increase, and that something needs to be done about it."

That's one reason for the cameras going in along NP Avenue. But when Gehrig took a look of his own, he found something quite different.

Gehrig: "Crime is not on the rise in downtown Fargo, and I believe we've been sold a false narrative in order to get these cameras up."

His research showed crime decreasing from 2007 to 2011 , with 2011 marking the lowest crime rate city wide in several years. But police say it's the months since they're worried about.

Keith Ternes/Fargo Police Chief: "There's no question that crime overall in the city has been down the last few years and we're very proud of that fact. But in the downtown area, as recently as the tail end of last year, specific to the downtown area, we started to see a slow but sure increase in crime."

Gehrig: "The reality is is that 2012 is exactly in line with the other years. It's exactly in the middle, so to say these cameras had anything to do with that, I see absolutely no evidence of that."

Although Gehrig says there's nothing to prove these cameras are working, Fargo police say they are getting crime off of city streets.

Ternes: "The bottom line is we want to establish deterrence, we're not necessarily looking for capturing something on video."

Since turning them on, police have seen no crimes come in from that part of town. But according to Gehrig, the video shouldn't come without taxpayer approval.

Gehrig: "The police department needs to realize that you can't put people under surveillance for no reason whatsoever."

So he says he wants to fight until they're turned off.

Gehrig got his numbers from Fargo police, but police say his findings include more than just downtown area data.

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