Scotia plans park surveillance

Board considers placing cameras around Collins Park area to deter vandalism

— Acts of random vandalism can sometimes be hard to prevent, but Scotia officials are hoping the thought of being caught on camera will deter would-be vandals.

The Scotia Board of Trustees is looking into placing video cameras in and around Collins Park in an effort to catch vandals at an estimated cost of $8,000 for nine cameras, four DVR boxes and initial setup expenses. Each camera costs around $275 and the village would do all of the work except for wiring the equipment.

The board was hoping to get a more solid estimate before putting the resolution to a vote at the Wednesday, Aug. 10, meeting. Check back to SpotlightNews.com for updates on the vote, which will occur after this story was posted.

“We have caught a couple kids that have done some things, but obviously it is difficult to catch somebody that does some random act,” said Mayor Kris Kastberg. “A lot of the kids that you catch are minors so it is not like you can throw them in jail or fine them.”

In one recent instance of vandalism, a group of young people pulled up fence posts around the playground in Collins Park, along with flowers that had recently been planted. Instances of vandalism haven’t necessarily been on the rise, said Kastberg, but the hope appears to be the investment could prevent future repairs.

“I can’t say [vandalism] has increased, but we have these spurts when we get these significant problems,” said Kastberg. “We are just looking at having the ability to monitor what goes on at the park 24/7.”

The main areas that would be under surveillance include the center of the park near the basketball court and kids playground, where docks are to be installed off Freedom Park, overlooking the Scotia Library area and around the beach area. The cameras won’t be hidden, but instead installed on posts visible to the public to act as a deterrent. There would be secure, locked boxes on the posts holding the cameras.

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