Daytona Beach leaders consider more lighting, security cameras for safety boost

Residents near Seabreeze Boulevard voice concerns over “criminal elements”

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A big boost in public safety features could be coming to Daytona Beach.

City leaders are looking to add additional security cameras and streetlights in its more-trafficked areas. They hope it will be a crime deterrent but also help catch suspects quicker.

The city is in the beginning phases of the proposal, but leaders said they would first start installing these tools in the more heavily foot-trafficked areas like Seabreeze Boulevard and its surrounding neighborhoods.

“During the day, I feel safe. At night, there’s a lot of criminal elements that I think walk around looking to steal,” said resident Kimberly Kissel.

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Residents on Wild Olive Avenue said there aren’t many streetlights in their historic neighborhood, which sits just yards away from Seabreeze.

“We have people coming from all over the state thinking that that’s party time there, and some of them aren’t always the best people,” said resident Sue Odena.

Besides rowdy drunks, residents said they feel the darkness attracts some of the more suspicious characters and transients that tend to stay on Seabreeze.

“Now, when it gets dark, I’m a little afraid to be outside,” Kissel said.

They’re also still shaken up from 2022′s bike week murders that happened in one of their neighbor’s yards. Police said Brenda and Terry Aultman were riding bicycles home at night when a man randomly stabbed them to death.

Investigators had to turn to the few cameras in the area to help track down the suspect.

“I have lots of cameras on my house, so they were here within 15 minutes of the call,” Odena said.

It prompted Mayor Derrick Henry and Commissioner Ken Strickland to meet with residents to find out what would make them feel safer.

“We met over the course of a year, and we talked about lighting on both Seabreeze and Main streets,” Henry said.

The city is also looking to do a comprehensive study to figure out how they can put more security cameras in to help police. Officials estimated that it could cost over $1 million.

The mayor said he’s already eyeing other areas they would expand to.

“I think it should definitely be on Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King, probably Mason, some parts of International Speedway,” he said.

The item is on the city commission’s agenda for their next meeting on May 17.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.