City officials recently approved a plan to upgrade security camera systems at local parks in the hopes it will deter crime and vandalism.
Members of the Seymour parks board agreed to pay $20,233 to Dallman Systems Inc. of Jeffersonville, who will install the cameras.
That cost will include the 19 cameras and installation at Gaiser, Freeman and Shields parks.
Those are the three most used parks, parks and recreation director Bob Tabeling said. The city has a total of 39 cameras at its parks.
The company will charge service fees as work is needed and the city will not pay a monthly fee. Officials expect the cameras to be in use by March.
The cameras will be paid for through the department’s 502 non-reverting fund. That fund receives revenue from fees collected by the department, Tabeling said.
Old cameras will uninstalled and used at other parks.
ADT originally quoted the project and came in at $17,730 for the work with an $85 monthly fee. The first quote the company submitted recommended replacing 48 cameras at a cost of $44,974, but board members did not want to pay that much.
While the Dallman quote came in higher, board members felt they’d receive better service because of the company’s relationship with Seymour Community School Corp.
“I know ADT is a little cheaper, but I’m looking at the service end of it,” board member Gary Colglazier said. “I know it’s more money, but in the long run and with the schools using them, I think I’d go with them.”
The city was prompted to replace the cameras following two criminal incidents reported at two of the city’s parks. Tabeling shared the details of those incidents during a meeting in October.
One involved a car that was broken into and led to the theft of a woman’s purse at Freeman Field Park, while the second involved a woman slapped in the face by another woman at Gaiser Park.
Although there are security cameras in place at all of the city’s parks, Tabeling said the images were not high enough quality to show a clear image of either incident.
Sixteen of the cameras will be 2 megapixels, while the remaining three will be 5 megapixels.
Higher megapixel images allows the viewer to zoom in on incidents to get a clearer image of a person’s face or car.
“Some cameras can show a pretty good image of a license plate,” Tabeling said.
The department also has seen a high volume of vandalism at the parks.
The parks department has responded to 26 damage incidents at local parks this year through November, according to a report. Damage from those incidents is estimated at $1,177.77. That figure does not include labor which often includes multiple park’s department employees working as many as two hours repairing the damage.
Those incidents range from graffiti to damage to restroom dispensers. The most expensive repair was made when the department spent $500 replace a door in the women’s restroom at Shields Park. The door was ripped off its hinges of the restroom on July 4.
The department did make an insurance claim after a car wreck damaged the pool fence at Shields Park.
The department hopes a better camera system and clearer imaging will help deter incidents.
The systems also give the department a better chance of seeing who did the damage so they can be prosecuted, Tabeling said.