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Jul 11, 2018 10:47 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town To Install Surveillance Cameras At Town Parks, Facilities

Surveillance cameras will be used to monitor various parks, beaches and downtown areas in Southampton Town. ELSIE BOSKAMP
Aug 1, 2018 9:44 AM

Up to 80 surveillance cameras, totaling $230,000 in incurred costs, will soon be installed on street lights on various public streets, beaches and parks in Southampton Town in an effort to improve public safety.

As recommended by both the Town Parks Department and Town Police Department, the Town Board approved the expenditure for the cameras on Tuesday afternoon. The project will be funded with $130,000 from the town’s general fund, and $100,000 from the police fund.

At the meeting, Councilwoman Christine Scalera also noted that while most of the cameras will be installed in town parks, some may be put to work in downtown areas, if deemed necessary by the police department.

“It’s important to have a camera system, because our facilities are spread throughout the town, from Westhampton to Sagaponack, and the reality is that we can’t always have staff on site monitoring these locations 24/7,” Parks Director Kristen Doulos said. “Like any other community, we have vandalism and crime from time to time, and the cameras can be a good tool to help deter, monitor and respond to these activities.”

According to Ms. Doulos, 40 of the cameras will be installed at town parks facilities, while the remaining ones will be places in areas deemed necessary by the police.

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki could not immediately be reached this week, but Ms. Doulos noted that, although they are still working out the logistics of who should have permission to observe the camera feeds, the police department would certainly have access to the footage, and be responsible for monitoring it.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that the footage would be recorded to a computer for at least 24 hours, although he noted that it could be saved much longer than that, allowing officers and officials the ability to download video if there was a problem.

“This is becoming more common in general,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “It helps deter crime.”

Both Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Doulos did not disclose specific locations where the cameras would be installed, offering only that they will be placed at parks facilities.

Mr. Schneiderman added that surveillance cameras are already in place at various locations in the town, including Good Ground Park and the Ponquogue Beach Pavilion, both in Hampton Bays. He also noted that the new cameras could potentially be moved around from place to place.

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I did not realize that there was such a grave problem at the beaches and parks that would require such extraordinary and invasive measures. Could we please first see some crime statistics?

Considering that I've never seen any significant policing at the beaches I did not realize that there was any major concerns. This sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

The exception would be Monday nights at Sagg Main beach when the drum circle plays. Usually, the police are more ...more
By V.Tomanoku (685), southampton on Jul 11, 18 4:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
The surveillance state is now!
Generally, I am comfortable giving up some privacy in exchange for the sense that through the use of video, culpability may be established for serious matters such as a fatality. Cell phone and Internet surveillance is another matter.
I would like to see increased use of cameras with automatic ticketing and yes I have been fined by them ; ). I'd also like to see cars that required the swipe of a valid license to operate. And I'd also like an ice cream...
Cameras ...more
By Aeshtron (281), Southampton on Jul 11, 18 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ubiquitous video surveillance is old news, how do you feel about the imminent widespread adoption of facial recognition technology?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5542), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 11, 18 5:18 PM
My mug breaks cameras
By Fred s (1989), Southampton on Jul 11, 18 6:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
"For public safety" .. poor rhetoric and logical fallacy.
By dave h (192), calverton on Jul 11, 18 8:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
$6,000 per camera? Where were the people in Town Hall trained? In the Pentagon? Has no one ever heard of Amazon? What about the salary, with benefits, of the new king of all video? A political insider, no doubt, will have that plum dropped in his or her lap.
By VOS (1155), WHB on Jul 12, 18 2:11 AM
Town officials need to blanket the Town with cameras because junkies are using the parks to die. Thanks junkies!
By even flow (808), East Hampton on Jul 12, 18 5:58 AM
Let’s put a camera in the police chiefs office and watch him all day.
By icecreamman (447), Southampton on Jul 12, 18 6:58 AM
That's an amazing idea. Let's put cameras on the code enforcement officers as they drive past motels being used as low income housing on their way to ticket people who rent on Airbnb to pay their Town of Southampton property taxes.
By dfree (654), hampton bays on Jul 12, 18 10:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
I hope Park & Rec watches the camera at Sagg beach. They will see the much needed maintenance of the pavilion and staircases. (power washing, sanding, painting)
By auntof9 (135), Southampton on Jul 12, 18 11:23 AM
Would rather see increased reliable cell phone service!
By Mouthampton (417), Southampton on Jul 12, 18 11:27 AM
2 members liked this comment
How about wifi hotspots? Solar panels? Bathrooms in Good Ground Park?
By dfree (654), hampton bays on Jul 12, 18 2:22 PM
Last time I checked there was an elaborate camera system with microwave transmission system already in place at "Good Ground" Park so what are you talking about???
By DisgustedHamptons (50), Hampton Bays on Jul 12, 18 8:45 PM
Surveillance Cameras at beaches....thats just creepy when donning a bikini ...you never know who's watching on the other end....do those cameras zoom in ?! Creepy!
By toes in the water (736), southampton on Jul 13, 18 6:41 AM
2 members liked this comment
Another Town financial boondoggle.
By HB90 (156), southampton on Jul 13, 18 10:06 PM
the biggest safety issue we face is County Rd. 39. Money would be better spend on addressing how to make the road safer. We might actually save lives!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (613), southampton on Aug 1, 18 9:34 AM