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Security cameras now set for installation at Grangebel Park, officials say

Security cameras should be installed in Grangebel by Friday, July 30, according to deputy Riverhead Town attorney Dan McCormick, who met with officials from Optimum last week regarding the cameras.

The news comes in the wake of a July 20 press conference by Councilwoman Catherine Kent, and council candidate Evelyn Hobson-Womack criticizing the pace of getting the cameras installed. 

Ms. Kent is running for supervisor on the Democratic line and Ms. Hobson-Womack is a Democratic candidate for council. Ms. Kent is the only Democrat currently on the board. 

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said the cameras were already set to be installed and the timing of the press conference had nothing to do with that. 

Ms. Kent wasn’t buying it. 

“There is so much tap-dancing going on in town hall this week, I seriously feel like I am in a Broadway show,” she said at last Thursday’s work session, where the cameras were discussed. “I’m glad that our press conference prompted things.”

She said the timing of the installation was “interesting,” with Optimum calling Mr. McCormick during the work session to say they’d be at Grangebel Park in 10 minutes. 

“It was such a litany of excuses, I literally couldn’t count them all,” she said. 

Ms. Aguiar, a retired NYPD detective-sergeant, said Ms. Kent was jeopardizing public safety by pointing out that the cameras in Grangebel Park don’t work. As a result, she said, the town will have to put more police officers on patrol in that area.

The town needs Optimum to lay the cable and wiring the cameras require and will then have its security camera vendor, A+ Technology, install the infrastructure, Mr. McCormick said.

“We have to make sure it’s not only installed, but also that it’s operational,” he said. 

The town already has functioning security cameras at the railroad station, which was the first phase of the camera project in 2019, with Grangebel Park being the second phase, according to Mr. McCormick. 

The railroad cameras have been operational since February of this year, according to Mr. McCormick, who said the overall whole project was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down many businesses and offices. 

“This didn’t happen because of a press conference,” Ms. Aguiar said. “It’s been a long process.”