Aldermen say planned security cameras in the city parks will only be effective if they are aimed at the most vulnerable spots.
High-tech digital cameras and recording equipment are being considered for the city park, Adam’s Garden, Blackburn Park, Jensen’s Point Park and Liberty Field. The cameras would record activities in the park and forward the images to the police department.
The proposal included descriptions of where cameras would be placed and what park areas they would cover but aldermen asked for a demonstration.
City Administrator Steve Roth told aldermen Jan. 2 that he had received proposals from two firms to provide security cameras in all city parks.
Roth said he wants to check with the police chief and public works commissioner before recommending one of the proposals to the board.
But aldermen said they want to see what the cameras will see before approving a contract for the work.
Bays-ET, Pacific, and Zobrio Inc., St. Louis, submitted detailed proposals to supply the cameras and recording equipment. Bays estimated cost for all parks is $20,655. Zobrio proposed a total cost of $17,351.
Aldermen asked for additional coverage.
Alderman Steve Myers said he knows cameras at Jensen’s Point are being limited to the gazebo at the top of the bluff and he would like to see a camera on the parking area.
Alderman Carol Johnson said the coverage should be amended to include the Red Cedar building, which the city purchased for a visitor center and museum. She also said when Roth meets with the camera companies aldermen should be present.
Myers agreed, saying he wants to see the camera proposals again before final decisions are made.
Alderman Mike Pigg said the proposal needs wider scrutiny before the board is asked to approve a contract.
“I’d like to hear from the park board on this and get their ideas,” Pigg said.
Alderman Nick Chlebowski suggested that the two companies be asked to make a presentation before aldermen with the park board present.
Pigg said the public should be invited to view the demonstration.
Other than city streets, the city parks are the most widely used city facility and residents probably know more about what goes on in the parks than officials, he said.