Monday, November 16, 2009

Surveillance cameras for Bartlem Park?

There's consideration of placing surveillance cameras in Bartlem Park. The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports:

Town officials are investigating whether they can come up with enough money to purchase a video surveillance system that would be used to deter vandalism and other illicit activity in Bartlem Park.

The catalyst for the decision by Town Manager Michael Milone and other officials is a recent spate of vandalism at the park. Obscene graffiti written on the town’s Youth Services building near the entrance, as well as at the skateboard park and a building that houses restroom facilities, cost $2,000 to cover over, Milone said...

“We’d need about $15,000 to purchase a system,” he said. “The Youth & Social Services Department has about $2,500 in grant money and the police department has about $5,000 we could use, but we’d have to find some way to come up with the rest.”

I've got several concerns about this, including cost. The cost strikes me as high. I figure if I can upload video to the web with a camera that cost a couple hundred bucks... with the recent improvements in technology, this stuff shouldn't cost so much. But I'm comfortable hearing more about the idea.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

A camera system costs so much for a few reasons. The cameras themselves are capable of seeing in the dark unlike what you are using at home. The infrared system allows vision in total darkness. The system also needs a server and connection to the Internet. While the Yellow House may be able to support this, cables are needed to connect everything. Cable and power lines need to be burried.

Personally, this sounds like too much money and work. My original thought was to take down the skate park as the kids do not respect it. My new thought is close it for the winter and offer to reopen it in the spring. Set a date and advise the kids that tresspassers will be arrested unless the guilty party steps forward. The people responsible for the graffitti work out a restitution deal with the town and the park can reopen immediately

Time to make the kids responsible. The cannot treat the town like a locker room. Everything the town owns should be respected and protected by every resident.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the skate park the result of a slush fund gift that could not be redirected?

tim white said...

Please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the skate park the result of a slush fund gift that could not be redirected?

Odd as it sounds, I recall investigating this at the time the skate park arose.

The skate park funding came from a "skate park fund." Similarly that year, there was also a "boat dock fund." I remember it because it was so odd... and because the webpage that provided that information indicated that there were no similar funds... such as a "purple sidewalk fund" or "rubber-coated basketball hoop fund." Nope. Those funds were explicitly for skateboard parks and boating docks... and nothing else.

Anyway, it was different from the "discretionary fund" that can be used on anything at the discretion of the Guv/Speaker/Senate Prez.

Btw, I don't mean to defend the existence of the funds. I'm just offering the facts as I understand them to be.

Contoured Views said...

I have always had an issue with that park since it opened.

Signs clearly state that helmets must be worn, yet you never see anyone wearing one. Teenagers are now bring their bikes in there as well.

Kids under the age of 14 won't go in there for fear of getting run over. Plus they won't look "cool" if they wear a helmet.

If someone falls and gets seriously hurt there, who is liable?

I recall when it first opened they had an attendant there, but that no longer happens.

Cameras may not be a bad idea since it could protect the town in case a greedy parent wants to sue the town because their kid got hurt there. It may pay for itself.

Anonymous said...

Al Adinolfi requested the grant without discussing it with the town. It only covered about 75% of the cost. That grant was the first time the residents of Cheshire were told that it would be a financial nightmare to return a grant

Wouldn't the existance of cameras open us to lawsuits? The other side of the coin is they would show the lack of supervision, no helmet enforcement, etc. Someone from the town would have to constantly monitor the cameras to react to any rule breakers to show enforcement.

Consideration should be given to temporarily shutting down the park. Whoever painted the graffiti should be sought. Cheshire police should be removing anyone after dark. Most of the time, the police don't bother

tim white said...

The skate park grant was $100,000. The cost of the park was south of that.

Anonymous said...

Sure hope this is not one more of those town procurements to some favored vendor. One NortonGate per decade is enough. On the surface the concept seems to have some merit though.

Of course it can be done in a couple of fashions. The simplest just keeps so many hours of images which may be looked at in the future if it has been determined a problem occurred last night or yesterday, etc. A more robust approach would have some group, like at the PD for instance routinely monitoring the images real time. Hope the local PD union would be okay with watching park videos as part of their existing responsibilities? Otherwise be prepared to add 3 shifts of low level workers.

Before the town knee jerks this one and before staff does their normal, shoot from the hip, shoot ones foot off etc., and spends money someone should evaluate the issues, develop alternatives, go out for 3 or 4 competitive bids and after receiving the bids make some sort of public evaluation and acceptance of the lowest responsive bid package. Otherwise, don't go there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"go out for 3 or 4 competitive bids and after receiving the bids make some sort of public evaluation and acceptance of the lowest responsive bid package."

2 problems, first, you cannot force people to bid. If we recieve 2 bids, that is all we can decide on.

second, we need to change the charter to remove the low bid clause. Low bid requirements leave us with things like the town pool, boiler problems, etc. You get what you pay for and if you pay for inferior crap, you get inferior crap.

Q -What do you call the guy who finished last in Med school?
A -Doctor.

Anonymous said...

here's a thought, if you get no bids or they are unacceptable re-bid the project.

Selecting the lowest responsive bidder usually works out too. Of course picking the lowest responsive bidder requires some work and legitimate paper documentation by the selecting agency in order for it to work.

Med school graduates probably need a state license to say they are an M.D. since it is states which have the power to regulate the professions and issue licenses to practice. So, does it matter what class rank the medical student had or does it matter what grade they received on their licensing exams?

Anonymous said...

It's not lowest bid, it is lowest qualified bid. You have to write a detailed bid specification to make sure that you get what you want. It is questionable if this had been done sufficiently for those projects that didn't turn out so well. Requests For Proposals usually don't cut it, because they come back all over the map and may not be what you really wanted.

Anonymous said...

and that word "qualified" can mean many things...didn't the dems use it when they wanted to exclude CT Combustion

Anonymous said...

Lowest qualified bid means that someone can supply the town with a security monitoring system sold at Radio Shack for $500 compared to a professional $10,000 system. How long do you think the cheaper system will run? There are things that should not go to the lowest bid, but the most qualified regardless of price.

Anonymous said...

Why are we looking to continue rewarding kids in this town? They destroyed the lockerrooms, so we are going to build them new ones. They destroyed the skate park, so we are going to repaint it and add a security system? Take the park away. Make these kids earn it. Considering that most of the kids arrive on foot, (or skateboard or bike) and many dress in all black, how are we going to know who they are? I know a kid that use to hang out there and he would repaint his bike almost weekly. The cops would be lost looking for a green bike when he repaints it black.

Anonymous said...

No, "qualified bid" means that it conplies with the bid spec that was written for the project. If it is so loose that Radio Shack complies, then shame on whoever wrote it and whoever approved it! Then you deserve what you get.

Anonymous said...

Only an idiot rewards those that destroy what is handed to them. Sorry, I forgot, this is Cheshire.

Bill said...

Put camera systems inside the Town Hall so we can see what local special interests are having meetings.

Anonymous said...

To worry about the lowest qualified bidder supplying junk is a valid concern but where the bidding process works correctly the bid requests must be properly prepared first. This means the preparer needs to know everything important about what is being requested. It's one reason a big organization, like a town for instance has an engineering department with real qualified engineers. It is also a reason a town might hire a 3rd party/engineering firm with special expertise in an area to prepare a detailed specification in the first place.

And of course town voters should wonder if they can't find an expert preparer in the loop in the first place. Like they say in the software business, garbage in provides garbage out. And in the real world, if you prepared a couple of bid packages which resulted in something like the town pool or a law suit in association with a boiler replacement you'd be looking for employment elsewhere too.

Anonymous said...

Another problem with competitive bidding is you cannot specify what you want. To avoid the risk of legal action by a nonwinning bid, the entire process must be generic and non specific. In this case, if we wanted "brand X" cameras because we feel they are the best for our needs, we need to pray that that is what the winning bidder provides. We cannot put in the bid requirement anything that would be specific to that one model or manufacturer.

Anonymous said...

"They destroyed the lockerrooms"

that's the first i have seen anything about the kid's destroying the locker rooms. well, if that's the case then we should have am independant consultant do an investigation on what the extent of the damage the kids did and what action should be taken

Anonymous said...

If the kids aren't destroying the locker room then maybe town management is failing to make certain that the locker rooms are maintained.

Maybe the HS VP's office needs moving from his current quiet location to a new location inside of the locker rooms so he can make certain no one trashes town property that he oversees as a senior manager.

Breachway-backintheday boarder said...

Put the cameras up. Why not? Leave the skaters alone. No one knows who caused the trouble. All you attack dogs fresh off of the turf killing need to relax. Your punishment is to sit down in front of Channel 14 and watch that dope Altieri ask for promises.....over and over again.

Anonymous said...

"that's the first i have seen anything about the kid's destroying the locker rooms"

Who else would be in there? We do not have adult leagues using the lockers. If its not the kids, then who can it be? The rats are not that big... yet.

Kids destroy lockers and the skate park and what do we do? We reward them with new locker rooms and a repainted skate park. Kind of like giving a drunk driver back his license after the second offence. There is no reason to use care if you are going to get it back after the damage is done. WE NEED MORE ACCOUNTABILITY!!

Anonymous said...

The Locker Rooms are about 25 years overdue for updating and repair. How can you say it is a reward to replace something that has been brushed aside for too many years? Yes, kids should be accountable for their actions no doubt. Putting up cameras will not solve this problem...just adding another thing to get destroyed & then needing replacement and repair. How about we allocate those funds to the PD for additional coverage during peak times. This will discourage kids from trespassing & vandalizing the park. Ones who get caught will be arrested & that holds them accountable. Don't punish the kids that actually do respect property and enjoy the use of the park.
We might as well try and create an opportunity for the PD to use the money seeing as they will not be getting a raise. All that money went to the Teachers contract!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone just feel that this whole camera thing is creepy?
Do we need to treat every single person as if they are either 1)breaking a law, or 2)about to break a law?
And, as for the kids not wearing their helmets, someone had said the park should be closed for that? It should be, that if the teenagers don't listen to their parents and take that risk, let them suffer the conseqences of injury /or the parents should supervise their own children /or raise them in such a manner that they are smart enough to understand why they should wear a helmet.
Is our society so dumb that it can't allow parents to be parents, kids to be stupid and learn from their mistakes, and that we need to be monitored like kindergarteners 24/7?
Yes, it's a huge waste of money and I bargain that it's essentially unconstitutional.