September 19, 2008

Security cameras for Memorial Boulevard soon

Security cameras may be in place along Memorial Boulevard this fall.
Bids for a half dozen cameras are slated to be opened in early October
Officials hope the wireless camera system will help them cut down on vandalism along the historic parkway, a problem that struck home over the summer when a statue of a Spanish-American War soldier was ripped from its base and mauled badly.
The Sony wireless cameras, already in place at downtown’s Brackett Park, may help deter vandals and could assist police in catching culprits who ignore the cameras, officials said.
“Maybe it will cut down vandalism,” city Councilor Mike Rimcoski said.
Tom Ragaini, a parks commissioner, said that they can’t hurt.
Cameras will be mounted in a half dozen spots along the boulevard, with their pictures sent electronically to a video recorder that will keep the photos on file for many hours in case authorities need to review something.
Park Director Ed Swicklas said that at the very least, the cameras should help police pinpoint the time when vandals strike.
But officials said that the pictures are often surprisingly clear, even in the dark, so they may prove effective in identifying those who create problems.
They could also be used for live webcasting, if the city ever opted to use that option, which might allow residents to keep an eye on the boulevard from their homes.
The cameras are touted as being “ideal for webcasting and remote monitoring applications used almost anywhere – from airports to train stations, factories to supermarkets, and from street corners in small towns to big cities.”
They each cost between $750 and $1,400 online, depending on the vendor. But the city also needs the appropriate networking and connections to use them.
The city’s Park Board is planning more cameras to combat vandalism at Rockwell Park as its renovation nears completion next year, with other parks likely to follow in years to come if the cameras prove helpful.
Swicklas said recently that during the past month, there hasn’t been any vandalism worth noting in any of the parks, a sharp change from the spate of trouble last spring.
Mayor Art Ward said he recently spoke with a prosecutor to detail 57 incidents of vandalism in city parks this year in a bid to convince the law enforcer to come down hard on those arrested for spray painting the pool at Rockwell Park in the spring.
Ward and other city leaders said they are convinced that one way to clamp down on vandalism that costs taxpayers thousands of dollars annually is to “make an example” of anyone caught – and to make them reimburse the city for the expense of repairing the damage.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

45 comments:

Chris F. said...

I think the city would be doing a diservice if they didn't make the cameras viewable online for residents. Especially if they are going to be adding more in the future. That way if a resident sees something they can immediately call it in. Where I'm sure the police will only go to the video footage after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Big brother is watching....

Anonymous said...

It's come to this? Mr. Ward is going to spend more money on prevention, than was done in damage.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mayor Ward, when are you and all the other politicans going to stop obsessing over the Boulevard and start worrying about all the neighborhoods under duress from crime and speeding cars?

Anonymous said...

I say we put a few Live Webcams in Arty's office as well as all the Head Administrator's offices down at City Hall so we can watch their shenanigans 24/7. It would be like watching the Good Ole' Boys on The Dukes of Hazzard!! What a joke this Town is becoming. Cha-Chinggg

Anonymous said...

Cameras only create a warm fuzzy feeling for politicians.

Even real time won't be effective in the Boulevard environment.

But the politicians hope to convince people they are doing something.

They are, they are spending outr money.

Anonymous said...

Chris F. et al:

Late at night if you're watching the cameras...look closely for a naked woman with a gorilla mask on.

Anonymous said...

Gee its only taken two years to get them up were is the park BD. ?

Anonymous said...

How will this solve the graffiti problem the next street over on Riverside?

Anonymous said...

First they complain about how Bristol's going downhill because of all the trash, graffiti and vandalism going on around town. They complain that no one is doing anything about it. They complain that the police aren't doing enough to stop it....and when the City listens to their complaints and does something about it....they complain. Geez people, give it a rest already!

Anonymous said...

Republican here...About time there was cameras down there. Every time something happens down there its a slap in the face to all the men and women that have served!

Anonymous said...

Big Brother is watching...

Anonymous said...

But is it going to solve the problem?

Anonymous said...

Nope, it is just a knee jerk feel good reaction on the part of a few politicians.

Anonymous said...

"Every time something happens down there its a slap in the face to all the men and women that have served! September 20, 2008 2:39 PM"

--We get that. But aren't there more important things in Bristol to protect...like the safety of residents, namely children?

Anonymous said...

Cameras will not solve the problem. The graffitti problem happens at night and cameras that produce a picture at night of sufficient quality for prosecution are expensive. The City is not likely to spend the $$ for good quality equipment. And even if they did, having someone captured on tape is only good if you can identify the individual. As a previous poster said, it's a feel good thing. More lighting and more police patrols would be a better deterrent.

Anonymous said...

The cameras may not solve the problem, but they should certainly help. Just knowing that there are cameras there may be enough to deter some of the vandals. Its definitely a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

"But aren't there more important things in Bristol to protect...like the safety of residents, namely children?"

Are there children in Bristol that are in danger? We may have some problems here, but I believe most of the City's residents are pretty safe. If the police can beef things up a little with security cameras, more power to them. Sounds like a great idea!

Anonymous said...

The read the post on this blog is the same reason Bristol looks the way it does today. All you peopple ever do is complain because something is not being done correctly or you they should be doing something that they are not....My only question is why do all you people keep voting in the same friggin people into office? Why dont you vote in people and see what kind of changes they can make, because it seems like the ones that have been there for years are not doing a damn thing!

Anonymous said...

question to this site's naysayers - and your solution to addressing the graffitti and vandalism on the Boulevard and in our city parks is to do what?
Just what I thought, muted positive responses to everything which might contribute anything positive to the community.
some of you are so doom and gloom that you should just prepare to roll over die....

Anonymous said...

"Are there children in Bristol that are in danger?"

Of course they are! wake Up!

1) Speeding cars
2) drugs
3) bullying
4) crime
6) alcohol
7) sex
8) smoking
9) acedmic failure
10) lack of economic opportunity

..but let's worry more about the Boulevard statues.

Anonymous said...

11:48a.m. - what our kids really need to fret about is a pessimistic do-nothing, such as your brain-dead self, who do nothing but bitch and moan about anything/everything because your self-worth has been determined to be non-existent - talk about a deadbeat nerd - get a life, don't ruin everyone else's....

Anonymous said...

1) Speeding cars ? - uh, I can't remember the last time a child in Bristol was struck by a "speeding car"...can you?

2) drugs - always present everywhere. You're kidding yourself if you think this a problem the police can solve.

3) bullying - uh, once again, always present, always has been, always will. Can't remember the last time a Bristol child was seriously injured or died from being bullied.

4) crime - can you remember the last time a child in Bristol was seriously injured or killed during the commission of a crime?

6) alcohol, sex, smoking, academic failure, lack of economic opportunity - you're kidding, right? Do you actually think the police could solve any of these problems?

Wake up! Most, if not all, of the problems you mentioned should be handled by PARENTS, not tne police department.

Anonymous said...

7:51 - you are right but some of today's parents are like many who post on these sites - clueless, mindless, blame it on someone else, "not my child" imbeciles who would rather accuse others of not doing what they should be doing - parenting....

Anonymous said...

7:18 & 7:51:

Crime, violence and speeding cars are not the police forces responsibility?

Just because some kids haven't been run down by constant speeders, you think everything is OK?

You need your heads checked or something. I'd be happy to provide that service for you.

Anonymous said...

"Crime, violence and speeding cars are not the police forces responsibility?"

It is and they are....and obviously they're doing a good job because there hasn't been a crime or violence against children in Bristol that I can think of in the recent past, nor can I remember the last time a child was injured or killed by a speeding car.

While Bristol does have its share of problems, I do think it's okay for the police to focus some attention on vandalism.

As far as getting "heads checked," you probably would benefit from a some help in that department. Your obvious problems with paranoia and overdramatic tendencies are treatable. Perhaps a little therapy is in order for you?

Anonymous said...

12:31p.m. - bottom line is that the Police Dept. wouldn't be so burdened down with this other stuff if some of these parents realized that parenthood is more than being together in the delivery room....

Anonymous said...

Just what makes the Boulevard, or any part of it, more deserving of special protection than someones home, yours or mine?

Anonymous said...

4:51 - if you protected your home, you wouldn't have to worry about it, would you?

Anonymous said...

"Just what makes the Boulevard, or any part of it, more deserving of special protection than someones home, yours or mine?"

Why must it be an all or nothing proposition? The police can keep an eye on the Boulevard and still protect your home too. The Boulevard needs "special protection" because it has been the target of vandals and criminals on way too many occasions. Hopefully, your home hasn't been....

Anonymous said...

Check the papers and see how many robberies and break ins occur on a regular basis.

And many are not even reported.

Anonymous said...

Take the cash from the cameras and use it to drug test all public employees .... including the school system .... and shot(sp) can anyone that fails .

Anonymous said...

I guess they're not being reported on a regular basis because I can't remember hearing about many break ins, and most of the ones I do remember hearing about were solved by the police (one time the police chief himself caught the culprit in the act). Compared to some other cities, Bristol's still a pretty safe place to live, and if they can stop the vandalism by putting up security cameras on the Boulevard - more power to them!!!

Anonymous said...

September 22, 2008 1:02 PM:

A young man some what recently was run down by a speeder on Park Street in front of Muzzy Field. Four teens were killed on Terryville Ave. In Wolcott two teens were killed. On many of the through streets in Bristol there are accidents caused by people driving too fast. There is constant speeding on these streets THAT PUT CHILDREN IN DANGER. The only reason there hasn't been kids killed is that the parents don't let their kids venture anywhere near the street. But accidents can happen. And again, THERE IS CONSTANT SPEEDING IN BRISTOL.

The west end has a drug problem. There is bullying in the schools. A growing number of entitlement collecting lower class people have been moving into Bristol for years. Rockwell Park is a meeting place for drug dealers and thugs.

You are obviosuly dillusional if you don't see this. I'm not going to recommend that you get your head checked because obviously there's not much in there to check.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 8:15, my head may not have "much in there," but you're the one who's DELUSIONAL. Yes there are horrible accidents and teenagers die. The drivers in both of the tragic accidents you mention had already been arrested several times for speeding. It was the PARENTS who put them back behind the wheel. And one young man struck by a speeding car a year ago hardly constitutes a "CONSTANT SPEEDING" problem. As for your comment that, "the only reason there hasn't been kids killed is that the parents don't let their kids venture anywhere near the street"....well, duh! Isn't that what parents are supposed to do?

Yes, the West End has a problem. Every town has its problem spots, but compared to Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and a multitude of other cities, Bristol's problem is relatively small.

The "bullying in the schools" has been going on forever and unless violence is involved (and I can't remember ever hearing about that happening), this problem is the schools' and the parents', not the police department's.

"A growing number of entitlement collecting lower class people have been moving into Bristol for years." ....uh, not sure exactly what you think the police department could do about this?

Graffiti and blight go hand in hand with all of the problems you're SO worried about....which makes me wonder why you would complain about the City doing something to stop it. I mean, wouldn't that make YOU delusional?

Anonymous said...

Once again...Big Brother is watching. Is anyone aware that pharmacies now have to submit reports of all prescriptions filled to the state of CT? Big Brother watches you walk on Memorial Boulevard and Big Brother knows what medicine you took before you got there. Scary...

Anonymous said...

September 23, 2008 8:12 AM:

Without hurling more insults back and forth (and without reading your long-winded diatribe), Please resign yourself to this fact. THERE IS A SPEEDING PROBLEM on many of the city streets in Bristol.

Anyone deny this FACT is living in a dream world. And your dream IS OUR NIGHTMARE!

Anonymous said...

Sorry if my "long-winded diatribe" was too much for you (more like you can't refute the argument). No matter. Let's just make it simple....


Vandalism and blight are a much greater threat to the community's wellbeing than a couple of SPEEDING CARS.

Comprende?

Anonymous said...

September 23, 2008 2:31 PM:

Since you put the welfare of inanimate objects above the welfare of living beings, there's really no point in continuing a conversation with a self-centered, hypocrital phoney like yourself.

Anonymous said...

10:04 - I give up too. You don't seem capable of understanding that the statistics don't support your claim that our children are in constant danger from "speeding cars," and you're oblivious to devasating toll that vandalism and blight exact on our community. It's the big picture. You don't get it, so just go back out in your front yard and keep yelling at those damn cars to slow down....

Anonymous said...

September 23, 2008 10:23 AM

I bet you watch the X-Files and believe it's real.

Another 1984 Orwellian heard from.

Anonymous said...

"..so just go back out in your front yard and keep yelling at those damn cars to slow down....
September 24, 2008 7:53 AM'

--You got it because you and your buddies have the police tied in knots over a stupid statue.

---I liked the statue too. The Boilevard is OK as well. But I don't think it's worth a dime of the tax payers money to obsessively protect it, especially with cameras (what a joke). I say take the thing and throw it in the garbage and move on (just like I do when the kids vandalize something of mine).

Anonymous said...

10:21 - probably because your valuables have the same worth as your opinions - zero.

Anonymous said...

The last mayor had his house vandalized.

Are we going to install security cameras at each mayors house?

Anonymous said...

10:00:

"Just the facts, Ma'am."