RIALTO - To put a stop to the break-ins, graffiti and vandalism that take place downtown, city officials want to install a video surveillance system.

Officials are getting bids from different companies for a system that could monitor Riverside Avenue and downtown alleys from First Street to Rialto Avenue.

"The perception is somebody's watching over my property, and if somebody's going to make a foolish decision, they're going to get caught," said Joe Flores Jr., a business owner and president of the Downtown Business Improvement District Association.

In recent months, Flores and other business owners have called for more security downtown. In response, the Police Department has already revived its bike-patrol unit.

Mike Story, Rialto's development services director and association vice president, said one idea is that the city's redevelopment agency would install the system and the association would pay to monitor the cameras.

Though the Police Department is not leading the effort, police officials say they support the idea.

The association was considering helping businesses purchase their own surveillance equipment, but Flores said he wants to wait to see what happens with the city system first, before members decide how to spend the group's money.

Redlands has taken advantage of similar systems for years.

In addition to cameras at the airport, Redlands Bowl, a 7-Eleven, Mariposa Elementary and the Kimberly Crest Home and Gardens, the city installed four cameras downtown in November.

"It's like having a virtual police presence there," said Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann.

At Mariposa Elementary, there was a problem with trespassing and vandalism before the cameras were in place, he said.

The same is true with thefts that were taking place at the airport and instances vandalism, problems with transients and skateboarding at the Redlands Bowl, Bueermann said.

Downtown, the cameras have been effective at combating drunken drivers, assault, people under the influence of drugs, transients and panhandlers, he said.