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New London police will install a citywide surveillance camera system

New London — The city police department plans to install a series of more than three dozen cameras throughout the city, creating a surveillance system covering roads and parks.

The City Council on Monday approved a $366,423 contract with Cross Cameras Controls for purchase and installation of the system. The contract includes a $25,000 yearly maintenance fee. The council approved the cost without discussion.

New London Police Chief Brian Wright said he believes the addition of cameras benefits residents and the city as a whole, increasing public safety and hopefully reducing crime rates. Cameras are increasingly becoming a common tool for officers. The New London Police Department starting outfitting its officers with body cameras in 2020. The city signed a $1.2 million, five-year contract with Axon for body cameras, Tasers and police vehicle cameras.

The wireless system would be available in real time to emergency dispatchers and select department personnel as needed, Wright said. Recorded video is stored and can be accessed to investigate things like motor vehicle accidents or reported crimes.

The city is using a portion of its $26.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for the camera project, which falls into the city’s “public health” category of funding.

The exact number of cameras was unclear. An estimate provided to the city by Cross Camera Controls shows 34 “pan, tilt and zoom”-capable cameras, six vandal-proof dome cameras and six licence plate reader-ready cameras.

A list of 34 locations for placement of the cameras includes many road intersections, such as Ocean Avenue and Bank Street and Colman Street and Cedar Grove Avenue. Parks to be covered include Riverside, Ocean Beach, Toby May, Bartlett and Bates Woods.

Cross Camera Controls is the same company that has worked on other camera projects in the city. The most recent was a $48,452 contract approved by the City Council on Nov. 1. for waterfront cameras. Cross Camera Controls also maintains the cameras inside the police department.

g.smith@theday.com

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