By Kiera Morgan
Toledo city manager Jay Baughman gave a report to the city council regarding placing cameras at Toledo public buildings and on Main Street. He explained that having the cameras is beneficial to the police department to help solve crimes by helping to identify suspects and witnesses to crimes within the city. Based on police chief Enyert’s recommendation Baughman said they have included $23,000 into the budget for this project to be phased in over the course of two years. This would add an additional 19 cameras to the already existing 5 surveillance cameras within the city.
The purpose of the report was to request approval for a single vendor source going with HC Etc Incorporated, a company owned by Harlyn Jenkins. The request was made based on Harlyns existing knowledge of the cities communication architecture, having for the past to years been the cities IT contractor. Baughman said “Harlyn has already made substantial improvements to the cities communication system.” That system Baughman said would be integrated into the already existing city computer network system maintained by Harlyn.
The council agreed with the safety aspects of the cameras.
Council President Jill Lyon said “Certainly some security measures to help protect the safety of city employees at all of our city facilities is certainly reasonable.” “When I start to get a little nervous is when we are pointing cameras up and down streets and private areas strictly to create surveillance on citizens.” Lyon pointed out that people need to realize that when they are walking up and down Main Street they are subject to being watched by law enforcement even when no illegal activity is going on.
Councilor Lyon asked that a map be provided where the cameras would be installed. Councilor Rockwell acknowledged that times have changed and with the recent robbery of a citizen down on the docks it makes people feel unsafe. She said if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear about being on surveillance. Baughman pointed out to the council that the footage would be recorded and only used as a reference in case of an incident or crime. The council approved the purchase of the cameras.