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New security cameras may be installed at Riverside Park in Oakmont as part of ongoing safety technology upgrades

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 7:45 p.m.
Riverside Park across from Riverview High School in Oakmont.
Michael DiVittorio/Tribune-Review
Riverside Park across from Riverview High School in Oakmont.

Riverside Park in Oakmont might get new security cameras as part of the borough's ongoing safety technology upgrades.

The police department budgeted this year for a new system and servers with cameras at the borough building and station. Police Chief Michael Ford and Mayor Christopher Whaley proposed June 4 that council also upgrade the two cameras at the park across from Riverview High School, as well as install five additional cameras in strategic locations throughout the grounds.

Locations included park entrances, grandstands, the scoreboard and by the playgrounds in the lower section of the park.

Estimated cost for the park project is $21,700 through Eltech Security Systems of Allison Park, which services other security devices for the borough.

“The servers, software and cameras are all very antiquated,” Whaley said. “The new server and software is required for the replacement of the police station/borough cameras. This will create compatibility issues with the two existing cameras in Riverside Park. So the option is to buy adaptors for the existing cameras which are long past their service life, or to update them with new ones.”

Ford said no specific incident sparked the need for new park cameras, which would generate a better picture as well as a larger view of the fields than the current footage.

“I believe expanding the park to essentially 360 degree coverage helps promote safety and reassurance for our residents and encourages usage of the park,” Whaley said. “Our park is a key location that factors into our walking community. In this day and age with all the technological advances, having every tool available for our officers to use helps them to provide more effective and efficient services to our residents.”

Councilman Justin Lokay, borough technology and finance liaison, supports the proposal.

“Chief Ford and Mayor Whaley are consistently looking for ways to advance the safety and protection of our borough through new and exciting ways,” Lokay said. “This is just one more example of the mayor and chief putting forward innovative leadership ideas by proposing a tech savvy, inexpensive safety measure. In a click, our officers will know what's happening in our parks.”

The mayor said all park cameras do not have to be installed at one time. The borough could replace the two existing ones and opt for others later. The new software platform allows up to 32 cameras on the server without increasing costs.

Council so far has not agreed to the park camera project. Its voting meeting is 7 p.m. June 18 at 767 Fifth St.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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