CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has taken a harsher stance against the city’s red light cameras, as he steps up his bid to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“The program is just one more way that the mayor takes our money, and gives it away to his corporate backers. It’s time to end the red light ripoff,” he said.

READ MORE: West Side Teens Get Some Maritime Experience Out In Lake Michigan On Boats, Thanks To Community Leader Rev. Walter Jones

Garcia said people hate the red light cameras, so while he’s previously said he would put a moratorium on the program, and might keep some of them in operation for safety reasons, on Thursday he said he would end the entire program.

“I will do it on Day One. No more tickets,” he said.

Emanuel countered that his administration imposed reforms on red-light cameras. He said he’s not in favor of removing all cameras and has the political courage to say that. Emanuel has said the devices do improve traffic safety.

READ MORE: Aldermen Urge Passage Of 'Anjanette Young Ordinance' Seeking Sweeping Changes To CPD Search Warrant Procedures; 'We Have An Obligation To Change Policy'

Garcia scoffed at that.

“That sounds good, but it’s smoke and mirrors. What we need in Chicago is real authentic community policing, where the police and Chicagoans work together through trust and mutual respect,” he said.

Garcia feels the streets are safer without the red light cameras, though he did not explain how he would end the city’s contract with Xerox, the current operator of the red light cameras. Xerox signed a five-year, $44 million contract with the city in 2013.

MORE NEWS: Woman Dead After Dragging Officer With Car Before Crashing Into Business In Dolton; Shots Fired By Police

Garcia insists the city could find replacement revenue if the cameras are pulled.