Council considers lights & security cameras for Columbus parks

The agenda item for Monday’s meeting notes 25 initial locations have been selected. Councilmember Emmanuel Remy said work is underway to get permanent cameras.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — At Monday’s meeting, members of Columbus City Council will consider approving funding for temporary lights and security camera systems at city parks after recent violent crime.

The ordinance would free up $500,000 to enter into an agreement with Stree Smart Rentals, LLC for the rental of temporary lights and security camera systems at 25 locations.  The locations are not listed in the ordinance.

10TV has reached out to the City Recreation and Parks Department for a list of the locations.

On Sunday, 10TV spoke with Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel Remy. He is the chair of the Administration, Environment, and Public Safety Committees.

Remy said the cameras will be mobile and can be placed in different locations if needed. “We want to make sure that our neighborhoods, our neighbors, our residents, they feel comfortable and safe coming into our parks,” said Remy.

Remy said adding these safety measures will help capture evidence and make arrests if something happens.

“Sometimes when you see that blue light and that camera, that can see blocks away because they’re high definition, it might deter you and make you go in a different direction,” he said.

Remy said if the ordinance is voted on and approved, the lights and security cameras can be delivered in just three weeks after the contract is signed. He told 10TV, that work is already underway to get permanent cameras in August.

There have been shootings at four city parks this year, with the most recent one coming on May 14 at Weinland Park which injured an 8-year-old girl.

On May 4, a 19-year-old man was killed and a 17-year-old was injured at Westgate Park. 

On April 23, a 19-year-old man died in a shooting at Nafzger Park on April 23.

That same day, a 20-year-old woman was also killed at Saunders Park. A pregnant woman was also injured in that shooting.

“There is a need to immediately install temporary lights and camera systems in City parks that are of concern to the community and the Division of Police. These lights and camera systems will enhance the Division of Police’s ability to actively monitor City parks. If a violent incident occurs in one of the identified locations, these cameras will assist in the apprehension of suspects,” the ordinance states.

The ordinance says the Department of Public safety is also requesting a waiver for bids as it was deemed that Stree Smart Rentals was the only company capable of installing the equipment under the city’s time constraints.

A timeline for the installation was not listed in the agenda item.

On May 16, Mayor Andrew Ginther said he is frustrated with the recent shootings but contended the parks are still a safe place for families to enjoy.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says he’s frustrated with the recent shootings, but contends the parks are a safe place for families to enjoy.

“It’s really important for us to remain vigilant about keeping each other safe.  The city and our safety is worth fighting for,” Ginther said.

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