The Waterford Police Department, thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, will soon have more cameras surveying the town and will be sharing that information with its two closest neighbors.
Last year, the Board of Finance unanimously approved a $1.4 million grant by the Department of Homeland Security to install more cameras in Waterford and link the town’s existing cameras with New London and East Lyme. Even former Board of Finance member George Peteros, usually a , called the grant “a great deal.”
Since, police have been working with the federal and state government to actually receive the money. Police Lt. David Burton, who has headed the charge, had the project pass an environmental study by the federal government and is now waiting for the state to pass the money along.
“As of right now, I don’t have a timetable,” Burton said. “But once the funds get released, we are talking about an 18-month process.”
The grant will increase Waterford’s overall camera total to 21, which will be focused mainly on “,” evacuation routes and others pointed out along the shoreline, Burton said. These cameras will be part of a total of 65 in the three towns, Waterford, East Lyme, and New London.
“They call them force multipliers,” Burton said. “We don’t have hundreds of police officers waiting around for events to happen, so this allows us to do that.”
How It Works
Once the state passes the money along to Waterford, the police department will have to pass an environmental study for installation of the cameras, Burton said. Then, the existing East Lyme, New London, and Waterford cameras will be linked, and finally the additional cameras will be added.
Once complete, there will be monitors in the East Lyme communications center, the New London communications center, the Waterford communications center and the Coast Guard station in New Haven, and other licensed users will be able to use it as well, Burton said. Unlike the Department of Transportation’s cameras, the public will not be able to watch a live feed from the cameras, Burton said.
“It isn’t in the public domain,” he said.
Burton would not specifically identify where the cameras would go. Police would watch the cameras to look out for “suspicious” activity, as well as general traffic flow, Burton said.
Recently, the Waterford Police Department and the dispatch center have with surrounding towns, with Police Chief Murray Pendleton saying again and again that the key to 21st century success is partnerships. Board of Finance member J.W. “Bill” Sheehan said he voted for the grant partly because it would increase the chance of regionalizing more services, which could save taxpayers money and ultimately be more effective.
“I sure hope it does that,” he said.