OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Surveillance cameras on the Biloxi Bay Bridge are finally up and on, and should be fully operational in the coming days.
The women who spearheaded the community-wide campaign to get the system installed saw the cameras for the first time Friday.
"It's a camera on a pole, so we're very excited!" said Emily Burke.
Burke and Robin Cooley played a key role in getting the camera system installed.
"I think it's great. I mean it's kind of hard to believe that it's finally there," said Cooley.
The ladies are co-founders of WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere). The group formed right after a woman reported being sexually assaulted on the bridge in November of 2014. WAVE members rallied the community and raised more than $10,000 to purchase the camera system.
"It just goes to show what a small group of determined people can do," said Cooley.
The cameras only focus on the Ocean Springs side of the bridge. Police say they won't be monitored, but they will record around the clock. So if an incident happens, police can always review the video and download it.
"It can't change anything that's already happened. I'm hopeful that it will a deterrent," said Cooley. "I just think it's peace of mind, and I think people can go and not have to worry and not feel like they need to watch their backs all the time."
That sense of security is reassuring for daily walkers like Michelle Foley of Biloxi.
"I was excited. It gives me a little bit more security about coming out here in the evenings, so I'm very happy about it. It took them a while though," said Foley.
It took a-year-and-a-half, but it was well worth it for the ladies behind the grassroots effort.
"I feel great, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Now we'll move on and see what's next for WAVE," said Cooley.
WAVE is also working with the Biloxi Police Department in hopes of getting a camera system installed on the Biloxi side of the span.