• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

St. Charles moves forward with installation of more security cameras to reduce issues at 1st Street parking garage – Shaw Local

ByLinda W. Smith

Jun 9, 2022

City officials are moving forward with a plan to install more security cameras in the city’s First Street parking lot to deter issues like drag racing and vandalism.

At the St. Charles City Council’s Government Operations Committee meeting on Monday, aldermen unanimously recommended approval of a resolution to forgo the formal bidding process and award the purchase of additional cameras for the west parking lot from Griffon Systems for $91,720.

“These cameras are intrinsically linked to and form an integral part of other cameras provided by Griffon Systems,” St. Charles Deputy Chief of Police Chuck Pierce told the aldermen.

Installation of the new cameras should begin by the end of June, Pierce said. The city’s general fund will be used to purchase the additional cameras, but future Special Service Area Tax dues may be levied to offset the cost, he said.

Pierce has already spoken to the aldermen about the need for the additional cameras.

“These cameras would be in addition to the existing closed circuit camera system in the parking lot on the west side,” he said. “Additional cameras have been discussed which would be added to the same system which will increase camera coverage of the west side plaza area, east side bar area and Main Street.

In November, a resident living near the car park complained to the aldermen about problems in the car park, including drag racing, which he witnessed.

“This is not a new issue that has arisen or one that the St. Charles Police Department has ignored,” Pierce previously told aldermen. “We installed cameras on the fifth floor and increased patrols and enforcement. In fact, the cameras and increased patrols kind of pushed everyone to the fourth floor and that’s really what the resident was talking about. The problem went to the fourth floor and he was asking for a speed bump on the fourth floor.

Pierce advised against the installation of speed bumps due to the potential physical impact on the parking lot in the long term.

“The speed bump could be a short-term fix,” Pierce said. “How much will it cost down the road? What damage will occur in the years to come? »

Pierce said the cameras will help identify people committing criminal acts. St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan said the extra cameras would have a deterrent effect.

While she supports installing more cameras as a way to reduce problems at the parking garage, St. Charles 2nd Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner said she would like to see more police presence at the center -town.

“I’ve been a longtime supporter of bringing a dedicated community service officer back to downtown,” Payleitner said. “The mere presence there can sometimes eliminate these problems.”

Keegan said an additional community service officer is included in the city’s budget this year.

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