Carlisle to vote on cameras at Memorial Park

From the Sentinel:

Surveillance cameras could be coming to Memorial Park in Carlisle.

Council is expected to vote during its meeting tonight on whether or not to contract with Iron Sky, a Texas-based security company, to install cameras in the Carlisle park.

Under the proposal, five video surveillance cameras and eight radio antennas would be installed. The cameras won’t impede on anyone’s right to privacy, officials said.

The meeting will be held at borough hall, 53 W. South St. Normally, council meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month, but, with Veterans’ Day on Thursday, the meeting was moved forward a day.

Funding for the project, not to exceed $73,245.41, will come from Carlisle’s Community Development Block Grant. That cost will also include the required server, software, peripheral equipment, IT work and installation.

Memorial Park is located between North Pitt and North West streets and abuts West Penn Street to the south and a railroad line to the north.

The non-profit community organization Hope Station is headquartered in a former train station within park boundaries.

Privacy issues?

The project ties in with an initiative to install surveillance cameras in the downtown area, said Susan Armstrong, assistant borough manager.

The borough had previously received $200,000 in federal funding for that surveillance system.

Depending on the total price of the system, 10 to 12 cameras are expected to be in place by year’s end if council approves the project.

Downtown was the selected location because of grant stipulations. A monitoring system will be at the police department.

The Memorial Park project is the result of a council goal-planning session that named public safety as one of four highest priorities for 2010-11, Armstrong said.

Sean Shultz, borough council president, takes residents’ privacy rights very seriously.

“I’ve been assured by staff members who are working on the project that the cameras will not have views of anything but public spaces,” he said. “As long as our privacy is safeguarded, I believe it will be a successful project.”

The cameras will run continuously, said Stephen Margeson, Carlisle police chief, in an e-mail, and each will have a minimum three-day storage capacity.

However, if the cameras were to intrude on a person’s privacy, Shultz said he wouldn’t be a fan of them.

“As someone who treasures our constitutional right to privacy, the project would quickly lose my support if it infringed upon anyone’s private space,” Shultz said.

See full article here