Public Works employee installing camera in 7th Avenue playground

Mount Vernon plans to keep a close eye on activities in twelve of the city playgrounds. City officials will demonstrate how that will be done on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ben Gordon New Life Playground on South 8th Avenue and Sandford Boulevard.

“We’re putting in video surveillance cameras that will help us monitor activities in our playgrounds, especially after hours,” said Mayor Ernest D. Davis.  “Complaints from residents and police response to people hanging out in the playgrounds even after they were locked helped us make this decision that will improve quality of life for people living near neighborhood playgrounds.”

The surveillance cameras, purchased from bond monies earmarked for playground renovations, will assist police and city officials in curbing activity in the playgrounds affecting quality of life for residents. Activated by motion, the surveillance system will warn trespassers the playgrounds are closed.

“Cameras will certainly help us reduce incidences of vandalism and rowdiness in the playgrounds,” said Darren Morton, Commissioner of the city’s Recreation Department. “Every year we have to disband groups who oftentimes damage equipment and damage or destroy equipment when playgrounds are entered after hours.”

Last October the City Council approved the purchase of portable, solar-charged, motion activated deterrent security cameras. The individual units are equipped with monitoring devices and provide high resolution recorded images. These images will help law enforcement identify trespassers, vandals and others committing illegal activity in the playgrounds. 

“This will be a useful crime fighting tool,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Burke. “We want everyone to know that our playgrounds have surveillance and it’s better to stay out of them after hours than risk getting charged for trespassing or some other crime.”

Installation of cameras will be completed by the Department of Public Works. A demonstration of the new surveillance cameras will be conducted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ben Gordon New Life Playground on South 8th Avenue and Sandford Boulevard. For additional information contact Recreation Department Commissioner Darren Morton at 914-665-2420.