VIRGINIA BEACH - New and improved surveillance cameras could soon be watching over the Va. Beach Oceanfront.

The effort is speeding up after last month's violence during College Beach weekend. Police say some of the crimes were not caught on camera or the video quality isn't good enough to help identify suspects.

If money is found, the number of cameras would go up from 19 to 90. Right now, most of the cameras areon Atlantic Avenue and at the Boardwalk. The expansion would allow coverage of the Boardwalk from Rudee Inlet to 40th Street.

'Police have been asking for upgrades for years now,'Councilman John Uhrin remarked, stressing that now is the time to add the cameras.

He recently met with police chief Jim Cervera and is meeting with the city manager this week.

The police department estimates that would cost at least $2 million.

'The first step is making sure we get the right system,' he said. 'Times have been tough in our budget over the last several years; it's not surprising the idea got kicked down the road.'

Uhrin added he'd like to have the system up and running by the end of summer.
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