A video and camera system designed to monitor downtown Riverhead and surrounding areas would cost the town an estimated $400,000, according to a presentation given at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.
After consulting with Police Chief David Hegermiller, A+ Technology Security of Bay Shore proposed a downtown surveillance project last week for the Town Board to consider.
The video and camera system would be operated through Axis Communications, an “industry leader in IP cameras and encoders,” according to a PowerPoint presentation created by Jeffrey Sweeney, Marc Frascogna and Ish Akhtar.
The proposal showed locations for more than 30 eight-megapixel, 360-degree cameras with video and photo capabilities, set up to monitor the riverfront and Grangebel Park, the parking lots near the Long Island Rail Road station and the parking lots at First Street and Roanoke Avenue. The cameras, according to the presenters, would last roughly seven years.
Police headquarters would serve as the system’s central hub, to which video footage from other town buildings could be streamed as the system expands. The system would also update the police department access control system, which controls who can enter the building.
Mr. Sweeney said the proposal meets current state security requirements, but added that because the state is considering re-bidding its 12-year-old contract later this year, the proposal may need to be modified.
“We’ve been talking about cameras for a decade now,” Councilman James Wooten said. “I think the need is there. The town welcomes that sort of assistance, not only for the safety of residents but for police investigations.”
Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said Riverhead has received grant money to pursue the project.
“It may just be that as we get grant money in, we will move forward with the project, but we are leaning towards implementing this,” she said.
Last August, Chief Hegermiller and Det. Sgt. Ed Frost met with the Town Board to request a camera surveillance system. Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith had asked the chief to come up with a “comprehensive policing plan to accompany the revitalization of downtown.”
In that meeting, Det. Sgt. Frost noted that communities such as Babylon and Smithtown currently use cameras.
The police department has long sought cameras, but the money has not been available.
Photo caption: Chief David Hegermiller and the Riverhead Town Board discuss installing security cameras throughout Riverhead at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.