KINGSBURG — Members of the Kingsburg City Council heard an encouraging report on Jan. 20 on the ever-increasing number of cameras being used on city streets.
The current group of 50 cameras is being increased by 20. Reggie Gierke, a member of the Kingsburg Media Foundation and a former police officer, was on hand to present an update to the council.
“For the past several years the city has been working to improve our public safety presence, “reported city manager Alex Henderson in a staff report.
“These efforts include the passage of measure E, which has allowed for the hiring of full-time employees, purchase of equipment and much more. In addition, the city’s Public Safety Committee has been meeting consistently to recommend projects that aid in community safety.”
Some labor and equipment have been donated.
There will be the installation of a citywide WiFi network as the cameras communicate via WiFi. There will also be some solar powered cameras, if no electricity is available.
According to the City Manager, locations have been selected are based on previous activity, whether it be crime or vandalism and to help deter offenses. The cameras will also investigations when issues arise.
Some examples of current locations include the parks (such as Athwal, Memorial and Coffee Pot), city facilities, the Crandall Swim Complex and the Commercial Corridor on Sierra Street.
Henderson reported that the public safety committee recently allocated additional $10,000 to add another 20 additional locations to the network.
Gierke reported that the police department has a closed system of 22 cameras. The city has another 28 cameras. “We can expand that to 80 or 100 depending upon where we place them,” said Gierke.
He said that last Thursday, three more cameras will be up and running at Memorial Park. Another addition was made last Friday.
When it comes to the new cameras, Gierke has a plan.
“Working with Chief Damian and his staff, we are figuring out the best locations to put those. If they want to do three or four cameras, we can more cameras to additional locations. It’s really just the core setup is the expensive part at the location. It all varies if the infrastructure is already there.”
Gierke showed the Council a photo of one of the solar setups at Athwal Park and other photos of the cameras.
When asked if signage will be added, Gierke said that was a better question for Chief Dadian, who was not present.
Purcell added, “it’s a great project. When I was on the public safety committee, this is one of the things we really pushed for. I don’t know if people really understanding how much camera we are getting for the dollars we are putting forth here. So in the future, l love allocating funds towards this because it is going to make things a lot safer for the town. As of right now, there hasn’t been one big capture with these. But it’s just gonna come down to one case with one missing kid. Or one case where we are going to need to see something. So in every way possible, I’m going to support this project to get as big as possible.
“It’s going to save lives in the future and I think it’s going to save officers time when they get calls at the park. They can just bring it up from their phone, their console, or in their car. If they can look at that on their way there, it’s safer for them. It’s going to help fire guys with medical stuff. Everything. I just think it’s just a very good use of the city’s money.”
The next item on the agenda was crime statistics, which showed a 23 percent reduction in Part 1 crimes from 2019 to 2020.