Lebanon to consider installing camera network in the downtown district

Lebanon is planning to complete the downtown security cameras and wi-fi network in the coming months.

Lebanon City Council is expected to approve an emergency ordinance on Tuesday for a contract with Mobilcomm for 14 additional cameras for $109,761. Each camera costs $6,970 to install at each location.

City officials said the move allows for additional security to a majority of the city’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area downtown and further up North Broadway. Officials also said it will enable the city to expand its downtown wi-fi network.

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In a July 20 report to council, police Capt. Mike McCutchan said the first phase of the project included the installation of security cameras to the Mulberry Plaza festival area and the intersections at Broadway/Main Street, and Broadway/Mulberry Street.

McCutchan said the second phase of this project will provide additional security cameras to a majority of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), specifically Broadway at Silver Street, Warren Street, New Street, Pleasant Street, and South Street. Additional cameras will be installed on Main Street at Mechanic Street and Sycamore Street, he said.

Originally, the project was broken up into three phases, with Phase 2 planned for this year and Phase 3 in 2023. However, due to cost increases projected for next year and the status of this year’s budget, staff is recommending to proceed with both phases now.

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McCutchan said the cameras are not continuously monitored by police. However they are actively monitored during the large downtown city events as an added security measure.

McCutcheon said the downtown security cameras have been used in criminal investigations since their implementation.

“Recently, investigating officers were able to review security footage from the downtown cameras and quickly identified and arrested two suspects for breaking into Doc’s Place,” he said. “The downtown cameras also played a vital role in the identification of several suspects involved in vandalizing the downtown business district with graffiti.”

Mayor Mark Messer said after weeks of discussion, council is ready to move forward on the project.

“Actually it was not a bad price for the cameras,” he said. “It does help us figure out who is doing vandalism or spray painting graffiti downtown.”

Messer said camera recordings are erased every 30 days.

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