Madison Police Department Installs Cameras at the Recreation Complex
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • 6:01pm
MADISON, NJ - The Madison Police Department's dispatch center now has the ability to view the Recreation Complex instantly, day or night. The borough recently installed a call box linking the Madison Recreation Complex (MRC) to the police department, and there are interactive cameras that the police dispatchers can use immediately to assess situations.
This will allow the police to better protect the facility and students, and to rapidly dispatch appropriate response to any emergency that may occur. The dispatch has several monitors displaying different angles of the complex, which is extremely helpful in observing students, said Patrolman Joseph Longo.
“Madison is very unique because we have our own network looped throughout all the borough buildings and schools,” Longo said.
The process of implementing the cameras began in March, Longo told TheAlternativePress.com. It started with Councilman Donald Links approaching him and former Police Chief John Trevena about purchasing automated external defibrillators for the recreational fields. But, after careful consideration, the police realized this would be tough to maintain and it would be much easier to install cameras.
“Well you’re putting in those turf fields, you should apply that money towards cameras,” Longo told the councilman.
The police then got prices from an electric utility company and had a company install three telephone poles at the school. The department then did the configurations and purchased the equipment. Because the police have their own Information Technology department, they saved a great deal of money on installation. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the best safety for everyone, Longo said.
“The best part about this is, you won’t be able to catch every crime,” Longo said. “On the other hand it’s recorded for two weeks.”
Longo said all of the parents, students and faculty have embraced the cameras and are pleased with the newly found safety the town is providing for the residents. As for privacy concerns, there is a sign in the complex informing people they are on camera and Longo said he hopes this will deter future criminal mischief.
While neighboring towns like Chatham and Harding do not have cameras, larger cities like East Orange and Elizabeth do.
“It’s definitely pretty cool that you have an eye in the sky in the furthest part of town,” Longo said.