A matter of public safety
Following positive public feedback, Town of Saratoga to purchase new security cameras for Hot Pool and Town Hall
February 12, 2020
Following a request for public input on purchasing new security cameras, the Saratoga Town Council directed Saratoga Police Chief Ken Lehr on February 4 to present estimates at the next town council meeting.
As was reported previously (see “Keeping an eye out” on page 5 of the January 29 Saratoga Sun), the Saratoga Police Department had approached the governing body about purchasing five new frog eye cameras. While three would be placed at Saratoga Town Hall—two for each parking lot and one in council chambers—two would be placed at the Saratoga Hot Pool.
One frog eye camera would be placed in the northeast corner and would cover the Hot Pool, Not-So-Hot Pool, swimming pool and walkway. A second camera would be placed in the parking lot and would cover the parking lot, donation box and walkway. At the January 21 meeting, both Lehr and Sergeant Tyler Christen expressed the importance of the cameras to the safety of users of the Hot Pool.
Saratoga resident Sally Patton was in attendance at the February 4 meeting and voiced her support for the security cameras at the Hot Pool. Patton stated that she believed the cameras were important tools for the Saratoga Police Department, especially when considering Saratoga’s proximity to Interstate 80 (I-80).
“We live 20 minutes from a major interstate with trafficking of all kinds. I think I heard 16,000 vehicles a day going by here. You think some of that is not coming into this town and you think that having three or four police officers and an understaffed sheriff’s office is going to keep us safe? They need the tools,” said Patton. “It feels like an emergency to me.”
It should be noted that, according to an I-80 Tolling Study released in 2009, the Wyoming section of the interstate saw 1,300 vehicles a day and was projected to have a truck volume of 16,000 by 2037.
Councilmember Jon Nelson, who put out the call for public input during the January 21 meeting, informed Patton that she was not alone in her concern for safety and her support for the security camera.
“I will tell you that everybody who’s talked to me over the last two weeks has said the same thing,” said Nelson. “Not one person has come to me and said ‘No Big Brother.’ Everybody has come to me and said ‘This is a matter of public safety, we have the same concerns that you have and we think that cameras are a great idea’ and that was the kind of feedback I wanted to make an informed decision on behalf of the public.”
Later in the meeting, Mayor John Zeiger requested Lehr begin researching the security cameras and prepare to present estimates to the town council. Lehr replied that he had already begun looking into estimates, including one from Motorola Solutions, which currently maintains the police department’s radios.
“They provide cameras, too, which would place them underneath our maintenance agreement so they would take care of the maintenance on there. I’m waiting on an estimate back from them, too, as far as the cost,” said Lehr.
The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be at 6 p.m. on February 18 at Saratoga Town Hall.