TICONDEROGA - Smile, you may soon be on television.
Ticonderoga will install a closed-circuit TV system this spring to monitor Montcalm Street and Bicentennial Park in an effort to curb vandalism.
Steve Whitford, chairman of the town emergency services committee, said the town has requested proposals for a system expected to cost up to $15,000.
"We hope this will help police make arrests and serve as a deterrent," Whitford said.
The first camera will be placed on the Heritage Museum building at the entrance to Bicentennial Park. The camera will be able to pan the entire park and will be able to distinguish faces beyond the park gazebo, about 100 meters away.
Other cameras will then be added along Montcalm Street, he said. The cameras will be permanently mounted high on buildings or hidden, so they can't be vandalized.
TV screens at Ticonderoga police headquarters will show downtown streets and the park, recording everything that happens there.
During the day, the clerk at the police station will monitor the system, and police can get a playback at any time of the areas covered by the cameras.
Whitford said vandalism in Bicentennial Park and the downtown area has long been a problem. It needs to stop, he said.
Ticonderoga Police Chief Mark Johns said the surveillance system is being under taken by the town board, but police will help. He agreed the cameras should make it easier for police to solve crimes in the area.
Whitford said the security system will be state-of-the-art and will be expandable so it can grow to meet future needs. He also stressed it will be high resolution and capable to identifying criminals.
Supervisor Deb Malaney said downtown business owners have agreed to help pay for the system. Whitford said one business has already committed $1,500.
Ticonderoga officials have discussed a surveillance system for Bicentennial Park and Montcalm Street for several years.
As vandalism and other problems mounted, Ti police started foot and bicycle patrols in an effort to prevent the sabotage and catch the criminals. Those efforts have had limited success.