Video surveillance downtown on its way

28 cameras will be installed at cost of $20G

Downtown Simcoe Monte Sonnenberg / Simcoe Reformer

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The Simcoe BIA is making an investment in safety and law enforcement in the downtown core.

This week, members of the BIA executive informed Norfolk council that they have 28 closed-circuit  cameras at the ready that they intend to install at strategic locations.

The executive asked for and received permission to install the surveillance devices on municipal property.

“Police will only have access to the video if there’s an incident and if police request to see it,” BIA chair Cam Carter said.

Plans are to have the cameras up and running by the end of November. Video feed will be monitored at the BIA office on Peel Street.

The $20,000 in funding for the venture is derived from the Urban Renewal Partnership between the Province of Ontario and Norfolk County.

This fund has supported other recent initiatives in downtown Simcoe, including an alleyway cleanup, seasonal lighting, Food Truck Fridays, mural painting and the Routes to Roots film festival.

Plans are to make the feed from at least one of the cameras available on the internet. The cameras, Carter said, will provide a continuous live feed once they are in place.

“That’s at our discretion, depending on where we want to put it,” Carter said. “We haven’t determined that, but it is our intention for it to happen.”

A final decision on making a live feed available to the public will be made once the BIA learns more about its responsibilities according to provincial privacy law. Notice that public areas are under video surveillance will be posted.

“One of our committee members has a slogan: ‘Smile, you’re in the downtown,’” Carter said.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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