Security cameras considered for Irmo park

08/10/2014 7:19 PM

03/14/2015 4:54 AM

Irmo leaders are looking at the addition of security cameras in a new park for crime prevention.

The step is under consideration, after Town Councilman Barry Walker Sr. said it could help deter vandalism and other mischief at Community Park.

“We’ll see what is happening out there,” he said. “I want to know what’s going (on), especially after dark.”

Walker wants the cameras as a precaution even though police say there have been no problems at the 14-acre park on Eastview Drive, which opened Nov. 1.

“Knock on wood, no,” Police Chief Brian Buck said. “We have haven’t had anything go on in the park.”

Town officials are assessing the price tag for varying numbers of cameras in the park.

Some town leaders are skeptical of an idea they say seems impractical and expensive.

“I’m concerned it would create a false sense of security,” Councilwoman Kathy Condom said.

Many parts of the park are heavily wooded, requiring multiple cameras to cover sections thoroughly.

Walker is willing to settle for a smaller network focusing on the playground, picnic shelters and areas that will be in use when the annual Okra Strut festival arrives in September.

It would be a test that could be expanded if successful, he said.

But Mayor Hardy King doubts installation of cameras in the new town centerpiece will pay off for the town of 11,000 residents.

“I just don’t think we need them,” he said.

The park is the site of a tragedy that cameras would not have stopped.

A 3-year-old boy playing in the park was killed May 31 by a tree limb that fell unexpectedly, leading town leaders to name a garden there after Jacoby Latta.

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