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Security cameras to monitor activity in Greencastle

July 11, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -The Borough of Greencastle will soon have a few eyes in the sky.

In a unanimous vote Monday, the Borough Council accepted a bid to purchase a $5,742 video surveillance system from Bowers Home Security in Greencastle to monitor activity at Borough Hall, the police station and, perhaps in the future, the streets of the borough.

Purchasing an expandable system large enough to support additional cameras was important to members of council.

Councilman Craig Myers said the council would pay for the convenience of an expandable system, but that the initial expense could save the borough money down the road.

"The only argument for not getting an expandable system would be money, the smaller the system, the cheaper," he said. "I think it is best to spend extra now and be able to expand later than have to spend twice as much later if we want to expand."

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Borough Manager Ken Womack said the expandable system would come with nine available channels that could be linked to cameras anywhere around town. A fixed system would have only four channels, according to the bids submitted for the project.

Initially, the borough plans to place cameras at borough hall and the police station to monitor all entrances and the parking lot.

However, having a surveillance system would enhance the borough's ability to monitor more than just its downtown facilities.

"If we want, next year we could even put one (camera) on the square and one at Jerome King (park)," Myers said.

The council also was concerned if the security system it chose could withstand vandalism and natural elements.

Council member Michele Emmett questioned how durable the cameras would be against rocks and other attempts to disable the system.

Myers, who said he is familiar with similar surveillance systems, said most cameras have crack-proof covers to conceal the technology and protect it from the wrath of both nature and man.

The system that the council authorized staff to purchase is a Web-driven, nine-channel video surveillance system along with four video cameras.

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