Noland Village residents ambivalent about security cameras

July 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown's plan to install security cameras at the Noland Village public housing complex has drawn mixed reviews from residents there.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday voted 4-0 to purchase six security cameras and their accompanying digital video recorders for $70,934.

Three of those cameras would be installed downtown, Police Chief Arthur Smith said. The others would be placed at undisclosed spots in Noland Village, where they are expected to catch drug dealers.

"We're trying to upgrade security in (Noland Village) to make it a better place to raise kids," Smith said.

If everything goes as planned, the cameras should be installed within the next few weeks, Smith said.

"(They could take) away your privacy a little bit," a Noland Village resident who asked not to be identified said of the cameras. "I don't know if it would be a good thing or bad."


Noland Village resident Larry King said he thought the cameras would help catch unruly youngsters who steal and vandalize property.

"Any time you're missing a bike, come to Noland and you'll find it," King said. "I hate to say it, but it's true."

King said the city should impose and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew instead of installing the cameras.

The Hagerstown Housing Authority will pay for the Noland Village security system, which can accommodate up to 16 cameras, Smith said. Community Development Block Grants will fund the purchase of the cameras downtown.

Lachelle Maiden said security cameras would aid police officers, who frequently patrol Noland Village, but cannot be there all the time.

"I think it would be a good thing because there's crime around here," Maiden said.

Her neighbor, Robert Shoop, agreed.

"Maybe they'd cut down on some of the drugs in this place," he said.

Noland Village, in the 1000 block of Noland Drive off Virginia Avenue, is a 32-building complex of 250 town-house apartment units, according to the Hagerstown Housing Authority Web site at

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