Thursday, January 28, 2010

Connecticut Residents Use Cameras to Deter Speeders

Connecticut Neighborhood Uses Cameras to Deter Speeders

If you're driving on Terry Road between Bloomfield and Hartford Connecticut you may want to slow down. A few neighborhood residents who call themselves the "Terry Road Action Committee" have mounted two surveillance cameras on a tree along side of the road. They say their goal was to protect the over 30 children who live on the street from speeders.

Upon installing the cameras, the group handed out fliers at the nearby University of Hartford, explaining the cameras and why they installed them. They promised to notify police, the university, insurance companies or a student's parents if a student was caught driving recklessly through the neighborhood. They even offer a $500 reward for anyone who reports a speeder.

Jonathan Fairbanks, a member of the group, told a local newspaper that they have seen a decrease in the number of speeders since the cameras have been put into place, and that overall traffic has slowed down. He is the owner of both the cameras and the tree which they are mounted on. Otherwise, he is very secretive about the cameras.

The speed limit in the area is 25 MPH and police have increased traffic enforcement there. Residents have also tried placing traffic cones in the road and requesting the city put speed bumps there, but none of those ideas worked. Fairbanks said speeding and reckless driving are most prevalent when students return to the college in the fall and after the winter break.

John Carson, the vice president of university relations said the school has no problem with the cameras. "We haven't heard or seen any concerns... we don't have a sense that they are infringing on any innate right," he said in an interview with a local paper. City police said they were unaware of the cameras and have not been involved.

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Oakland Schools Get 750 Security Cameras

Oakland Schools Get 750 Security Cameras

It'll soon be harder for delinquent students and would be-criminals to get away with committing a crime in the Oakland School System. At least that's what the school district hopes. A high-powered security system with at least 750 cameras is being implemented in 30 middle schools and high schools in the city. The cameras are supposed to be installed by August 2011.

The district hopes the cameras will cause a reduction in crimes such as defacing of property, and even keep students from cutting class. The camera footage will be linked so that Oakland police and authorized school district staff members can sign in and view it at any time online, even giving them the ability to zoom in if needed. A spokesman for the district said you can see something as small as the insignia on a shoe when the high-quality cameras zoom in.

The high-tech surveillance system will cost about $3 million; half is being paid by the school district and half is coming from a grant from the Department of Justice. According to Michael Moore, Sr., the district's director of procurement, the money had already been set aside for security purposes.

The cameras will be located both inside and outside the schools. They'll watch what's happening in the hallways, gymnasiums, and in the parking lots and streets surrounding the schools. However, they will not be installed in classrooms or bathrooms. Urban Promise Academy principal Mark Triplett said he thinks the cameras are a "great idea." He also said that while he already uses cameras to monitor who comes and goes from the school after-hours, the quality is grainy and unclear. Triplett's middle school is not on the list of schools where cameras will be installed but he says he'd like to see to it that they are.

The first school to receive the cameras was Oakland Technical High School in North Oakland. They were installed there last week. Fred Trotter, the head security officer at the school, has already used the cameras to identify three different students on three separate occasions. One was using illegal drugs on campus, another had a weapon, and another one was defacing school property with graffiti. As word about the cameras spread amongst the student body, it is likely that crime will decrease.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Texas Beach Neighborhood Installs Security Cameras

Texas Beach Neighborhood Installs Security Cameras

A subdivision with public beach access in Galveston, Texas is beefing up security. The homeowner's association of Pirate's Beach has installed four security cameras to monitor who comes in and out of the neighborhood. Many of the homes in the neighborhood are vacation homes, which means they aren't always occupied by their owners.

Ron Pearrow, a neighborhood resident who was for the cameras, says it wasn't burglaries or break-ins that prompted the installation of the cameras, but more of a desire to keep an eye on things and possibly prevent any future incidents. Homeowners have seen an increase of beach-goers trespassing on private property.

Even so, Pearrow says homeowners aren't trying to prevent the public from taking advantage of the beaches, “Ninety-nine percent of the people who use the beach do so in a reasonable manner,” he told the Galveston County Daily News. “But there are people who don’t. The Open Beaches Act does not say you can park in a driveway, ask to borrow a beach towel or use someone’s shower."

If an incident were to take place in one of the private homes located in the neighborhood, homeowners may not discover it until weeks later, but with the cameras, police will have some added evidence to help them carry out an investigation.

Pearrow is insistent that the homeowner's association simply wants to protect their private property and not limit access to the beach. Two cameras were installed at Pirate's Beach's entrance and the other two were installed at nearby banks where people can also enter the neighborhood. The cameras are set up to catch images of everyone who comes and goes from the subdivision, as well as vehicle license plate numbers.

Looking for a DVR or NVR Security Camera System? If so call today at 877-422-1907 x226 for a free phone consultation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cops in Harlem catch two crimes on CCTV on the same night in same building.

On Saturday January 2nd officers assigned to the Viper Unit, part of the NYPD's housing bureau that monitors security cameras at a housing project in Harlem, caught two suspects on CCTV in the same building, on the same night.

The first incident involved a stabbing. Officers didn't have a suspect description, but saw a man standing in the elevator, barefoot, and followed him through the building and outside on a cold, snowy night. They called in the description and the suspect was arrested shortly after.

The suspect is Alejandro Morales is being held without bail for the stabbing death of his 9 year-old cousin, Anthony Maldonado.

The second incident involved animal abuse. The officers just happened to see a 21 year-old man viciously kicking and abusing a tiny black-and-white Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix. The man kicked the 12 pound dog across the elevator where the dog cowered in the corner until they left the elevator.

Officers searched the building for the suspect and when Chris Grant returned to his home on Monday, he was greeted by police and arrested. He was arraigned last week on charges of torturing and injuring an animal and resisting arrest.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly gave the officers certificates of recognition for their work. One, Lt. Jason Savino, was also commended for tracking and locating a second murder suspect. The other four, Sgt. Christopher Dixon, Det. Michael Oner, and Police Officers Raul Gabriel and Naetron King were commended for helping to capture "an abusive individual who repeatedly and brutally beat a small defenseless dog."

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Libraries Need Security Cameras, Too!

Libraries Need Cameras Too

The Austin, Texas City Council is taking security at the Austin Public Library seriously these days. On the Monday before Christmas, they voted to approve nearly $12,000 of city contingency funds to go towards new security cameras for the building.

The library already has four cameras in place and director Ann Hokanson says the system allows library staff to identify people who might be causing problems. She also believes they deter other would-be troublemakers.

While theft and vandalism are not a huge problem at the Austin Public library, they do occur and can be very troublesome to staff and patrons. For example, in June of 2009, a 3x2 antique map from the 1800's was stolen from a wall above a drinking fountain in the library and no one has been caught in the case. More cameras inside and around the building could prevent future thefts or help authorities catch anyone who decides to commit a crime in the future.

Hokanson says confrontations inside the library's computer lab can also be a problem, as well as bicycle theft and other incidents outside. "We get an incident report maybe once a month or two. Probably the most disturbing of the incidents was some hateful vandalism on one of our employee's cars," she said, referring to an incident where a library employee's car had vulgar language scratched onto it, along with having the mirrors broken.

As an editorial in the Austin Post-Bulletin points out, "If there's one place where kids and adults should be able to go without fear, it's the library."

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