By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Thirty new surveillance cameras will improve Community Center security with infrared night vision parking lot coverage and entry and exit door coverage, Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Hawkins said.
The City Council passed a resolution at its May 24 meeting, based on Hawkins’ recommendation, to award the $26,455 project to Browning Surveillance, which submitted the lowest qualified bid.
The project is contingent upon a signed contract with Wayne County as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement, which helps fund the project.
Hawkins said the cameras are part of the city’s 10-year capital improvement plan.
He said the center, at 15800 White St., will continue to use the 16 security cameras it currently has in place. The new cameras will address needs not met by the current system.
“Many years ago, when there was an incident outside, the old analog cameras didn’t have the IR (infrared) capability for night vision,” Hawkins said. “That will all be changed. You wouldn’t have facial recognition from 200 feet away outside, but you would certainly be able to help the police department identify a little more.” ?
Councilman Harry Sisko asked Hawkins if his department had considered placing security cameras in any of the city parks.
Hawkins said powering cameras in parks presents a challenge, but it isn’t insurmountable.
He said the city used cameras in an area last year to capture evidence of activities that been occurred for years, and the city received restitution as a result of the surveillance evidence.
Hawkins said those cameras are movable.
“I think that is a discussion that would have to take place,” Hawkins said. “How much do we want to become ‘Big Brother’ in an open park, family setting? But we also want to provide safety and security for the people that use it.”
He said the two outdoor surveillance cameras they have for parks have a range of several hundred feet at most, and at 200 feet the cameras could identify what a person was wearing.
“There are a lot of things to look at there, and right now we are trying to get the basic things,” Hawkins said. “But having the two cameras that can be moved to different parks for different situations as the need arises, we have right now.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)