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Behave, you’re on camera - Dino’s camera watching 16th Street

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RACINE - Any would-be perpetrators - or pedestrians and motorists traveling down the 1800 block of 16th Street for that matter - should know there may be someone watching them.

A high-quality security camera with 360-degree visibility mounted outside of Dino's Restaurant, 1816 16th St., can be remotely accessed and controlled by anyone with a username and password to check out the goings-on.

The restaurant has four cameras to keep an eye on things, though only one is publicly accessible.

"It's to show people what it can do, what it can catch," said Dino's manager Dave Ferder. "So people know this is a great tool for the city and police."

Once a drug deal was caught on camera, Ferder said, and whoever was watching followed the interaction then alerted the police.

It's been up since July, to keep an eye or two on things.

At first there was a lot of site traffic where people would even get booted off after reaching the maximum limit of 36 users at a time, Ferder said, but lately there's been maybe two or three people on at a time.

The restaurant and Racine police also have their own logins and get first priority - for example, if there's a fight going on in the street and the police log on to monitor it, the system would kick off any other public user.

How much the fancy high-quality moveable things cost, Ferder would not say, though he did add that he bought them slightly used and gets Internet service for a discount.

There's a monitor at the restaurant bar that patrons can use. Sometimes Ferder said he puts on a show for the patrons, showing them how the camera moves, and often, the patrons will grab the joystick themselves.

He hopes the camera will showcase the benefits of security systems for a neighborhood.

Ferder notes that there are privacy features that black out residential windows so people cannot look into homes.

"(The neighborhood) is a lot better," said Eloisa Hernandez, a 41-year-old assembly worker who has lived in the neighborhood for five years. "(Knowing there's a camera) makes me feel safe."

Bashar Qedan, owner and manager of Twins Food Mart next to Dino's, agrees the cameras improve the safety of not only the customers but everyone in the area.

"Because people see it out there now and they know that it's watching."

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