More Parks Using Video Surveillance
It can be difficult to catch vandals, especially since many of them deface property or objects in the dead of night when others are sleeping. City parks and monumental landmarks have long been hotspots for vandals, with some finally fighting back by using video surveillance to identify perpetrators.
Carlsbad's Veterans Memorial Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico is just one example. In early January, Carlsbad's City Council voted to allot $20,000 in funds on new surveillance cameras. The park has been the victim of vandalism on more than one occasion. Most recently, vandals defaced one of its flag poles. Prior to that, vandals dug up a premature tree in the park. The recent spate of vandalism led to the park's decision to install new lights; however, that wasn't enough to fix the problem. Mayor Dale Janway believes that the addition of security cameras will deter vandals from entering the park. The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico reported him saying, "We want to make sure that it (the park) is not desecrated and that those memorials are taken care of."
While vandalism remains a significant threat to parks, it is not the only one. Slick Humphrey Park in Tecumseh, Oklahoma was just given the OK by city council to purchase six new surveillance cameras for a series of destructive acts that have caused irreparable damage to some of the park benches and playground equipment. The park has lost a number of park benches due to people using them as skateboarding ramps during the day. Park officials are putting their foot down in an effort to prevent further equipment abuse. City manager Jimmy Stokes was quoted in an article written by News-star.com, "We've spent too much money to let people tear it up. We're not going to tolerate it."
Drug activity and other illegal acts such as prostitution are also becoming a growing concern for many city parks. Lions Park in Costa Mesa is in the process of installing surveillance cameras to foil drug use and homelessness. Park surveillance has proven to be a practical, dependable solution in solving crimes.