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January 9, 2014

Trustees considering use of cameras in village

(Continued)

“It all feeds into, in different ways, the idea of the village and its relationship to the police department and to the police department’s budget,” he added.

According to the Adirondack Technologies’ representatives, there are several different modern camera units being used for municipal purposes. Bigger cities are using streaming equipment that can be monitored on a live feed by police departments. Another option is to use a fish-eye lens that can take a panorama view and record the image to a server where it is saved in case of emergencies.

Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert told the board that his department does not have the resources to monitor a live feed, but he did like the idea of a recorder.

“A fish-eye lens that you can go back and check a week later to see what happened makes sense to me as a police officer,” he said.

Trustee Lou Allstadt asked Covert if the cameras can see through windows. “If they can, I would have a big problem with that,” he said.  

Covert said he has seen similar security programs that digitize windows so that private homes are not spied on. However he was not sure how the technology worked and if it could be un-digitized.

Katz said that previous boards have decided against the use of cameras.

“Last year we voted on whether to proceed on the cameras, just conceptually, and it was voted down,” he said.

Katz also said he was unsure if the use of cameras would have helped during the Dec. 23 incident at Seventh Inning Stretch, or if the incident will change any opinions about the use of cameras.

Former Seventh Inning Stretch manager Barry Renert is accused of threatening store owner Vincent Carfagno two weeks ago. Covert said that the incident was captured on the store’s security cameras.

“From the time it happened to when he was caught was about 12 hours,” Katz said. “I am not sure that having the cameras would have helped. From my perspective, the police did an excellent job.”

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