Town opts not to install cameras at skate park

After reviewing a request made by the local Police Services Board back in May, the Community Services executive committee has recommended the town not bother installing security cameras to monitor the skate park.
“Concerns were raised over the need and effectiveness of the cameras, and after monitoring the skateboard park for a season and reviewing the amount of police calls, it is found that the need to install surveillance cameras is not required,” Community Services manager George Bell told to council Monday night.
He clarified the decision is “not about money,” but mainly about staff not having the time to monitor any surveillance cameras.
“They can’t leave the desk without closing the pool,” said Bell. “And most of the time, over the summertime, on weekends and evenings, we’re pretty much closed.
“So there’s nobody there monitoring them. That’s the main concern.”
He added the initial rationale for having a surveillance camera was as a deterrent to mischief and vandalism, but there’s actually “been very few calls, very few issues” since the skate park opened late last year.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft, who sits both on the Community Services executive committee and Police Services Board, agreed it no longer was felt cameras were needed.
While the Police Services Board originally wanted the cameras to catch vandals or violators of town bylaws, like playing loud music, further research showed no staff would have time to monitor them and, additionally, the cameras only would provide video, and not audio, evidence.
He added there have been very few calls or complaints regarding the skate park—in fact, only five since the beginning of this past summer.
And Coun. Neil Kabel, who also sits on the Police Services Board, pointed out the incidents were related to soft drink machines which have since been removed from that area.
“It would be a money-saver. The cost wouldn’t be worth what we were going to get out of them,” said Coun. Wiedenhoeft.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•passed a resolution to have Gillons’ Insurance provide the town with municipal insurance, and that a bylaw be prepared for approval at a future council meeting;
•agreed to a recommendation from the Administration and Finance executive committee to adopt an updated collections policy for accounts receivable for taxes and water and sewer;
•approved Coun. John Albanese’s travel expense claims in the amount of $395;
•received minutes of settlement for Riverview Drive, Range Pt. Lot 37 RP 48R3993 Part 2; and
•approved the September, 2006 drinking water systems month summary report.