Chesapeake invests in security at city parks, community centers

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Taxpayers in Chesapeake are footing the bill for enhanced security at city parks and community centers.

The city says they spent more than $180,000 in 2015 to roll-out the program at four parks and all eight community centers around the city.

Photos: Chesapeake investing in park security cameras

“It’s an added layer of protection,” said Kevin Kaul, Chesapeake parks manager. “We have park rangers who visit our parks regularly, we have a lot of parks and we just want to make people feel as safe as possible enjoying our parks.”

Kaul says $24,700 was spent on a nine-camera setup at Elizabeth River Park, where the city completed renovations in May. The system gives the city a 360-degree view of the 13-acre property.

The city was able to recoup $5,000 in damages from an insurance company after they submitted video of a tractor-trailer that broke a light pole at Elizabeth River Park, according to Kaul.

A video system has also been installed at the 700-plus acre Northwest River Park.

The city recently installed “flash cameras” at Lakeside Park and Deep Creek Park, which take still photos of individuals who trespass on parks grounds after sunset. The motion-censored “flash cameras” also sound an alarm and a voice tells intruders to leave the premises.

The city’s plan includes installing some type of camera or video system at all 72 parks citywide, according to the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

Kaul says $40,000 will be allocated to the project annually for the next few years.

By the end of 2016, cameras are slated for Chesapeake City Park, Oak Grove Lake Park and expanded services at Northwest River Park.

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