Friday July 26, 2013

ANDREW BEAM

Troy Record

TROY, N.Y. -- The city announced Thursday it will begin installing security cameras in the downtown area before the end of the summer as a pilot program.

The initial phase of the project -- with funding coming from the Police Department, the Troy Capital Resource Corporation and the county District Attorney’s Office -- will see cameras installed on Third Street at the intersections of Broadway and State Street. There will also be cameras installed at Fourth Street at the intersections of Broadway, and State, Congress and Fulton streets.

According to a press release, the city will be able to tap into an existing fiber optic cable network run by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mayor Lou Rosamilia said with public safety being the administration’s main concern, the cameras will be another effort in protecting the residents of the city.

"As mayor of the City of Troy, public safety has been the top priority since the very first day I took office," Rosamilia said in the release. "My commitment to protecting the public and preserving quality of life in our city will never waiver."

The project was first publicly discussed in April after various other municipalities installed camera security systems in their cityscapes such as Albany, Saratoga Springs, Watervliet and Cohoes. A meeting between Assemblyman John McDonald, D-Cohoes, then the mayor of the city, and Councilwoman Nina Nichols, D-At Large, and Wally Altes, chairman of the Troy Capital Resource Corporation, sparked the initial discussion.


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According to the release, Nichols and Altes brought the idea to the administration as an opportunity to deter crime as well as create a more comfortable environment for economic development.

Rosamilia liked the idea and tasked Planning and Economic Development Commissioner Bill Dunne and Capt. Brian Owens to oversee the implementation of the project where they collected data through mapping to decide which six locations.

"The security cameras will be another safety feature in addition to the walking patrols," said City Council President Lynn Kopka, who got on board with idea after speaking with businesses and residents on Fourth Street, according to the release.

Deputy Mayor Pete Ryan said the money for the project would be coming from funds already established within the Police Department’s budget, which would not require a vote from the city Council. How much the cameras would cost was not readily available.