While Jajuga criticized LeBlanc for confusing traffic enforcement with drug enforcement, LeBlanc said the additional revenue generated from the traffic cameras could be used for "enhanced border control, drug enforcement (and) intervention."
Jajuga, a former state trooper and state senator from 1991 to 2001, said he studied the traffic camera issue extensively as chairman of the Legislature's public safety committee.
"It's a money-losing proposition," said Jajuga, adding that the $1.2 million revenue estimate is "absolutely absurd."
Solomon brought his traffic camera proposal to the City Council in early 2012.
The cameras are used to record video and still photos of vehicles running red lights or making illegal right-on-red turns. Violators are then mailed $100 citations. No council vote was taken on the issue.
Yesterday, LeBlanc said more resources are needed to combat the drug problem in the Merrimack Valley.
LeBlanc said he considers traffic cameras as a way to increase funding for the police department. LeBlanc also said police, school officials, parents and other members of the community must work collaboratively to battle drugs.
"The stand we have to take is we're all in the fight to stop the proliferation of drugs together," said LeBlanc. "We want the impact on Methuen to be minimal. Every resource we can grab to achieve that, we should grab."
At the debate, Campagnone said public safety was the top issue among residents, aside from taxes and jobs.
"I really believe that we need to hire a few more policemen," said Campagnone. "Get them out on the street into all the neighborhoods, not just a certain few."
Grayton cited "the growing drug problem, especially in the Central District" as a top issue.
"It is spreading and those things tend to move quickly," said Grayton."Public safety has to be a priority. We need to make sure our residents feel safe in their home."