JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown City Councilman is speaking out about his concerns regarding future implementation of surveillance cameras at city parks.
Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell spoke during the Council Work Session Monday, roughly a little more than a week after discriminatory graffiti was placed on multiple statues in Dow Park. Russell says that, right now, placing additional cameras is a great idea.
The former Jamestown Police Officer, however, explains that camera implementation after future incidents in parks should be discussed further internally rather than involve a public announcement.
“I don’t necessarily agree with announcing to everyone we are going to be placing cameras whenever we have issues,” Russell said. “That would be equivalent to telling someone that’s running a drug house or drug operation that we’re going to be doing surveillance on your house. Going forward, if we’re having issues in certain areas, I would like to see people work more closely with the Chief of Police (Tim Jackson), and maybe put these cameras up and not necessarily telling people that we’re putting cameras up. That defeats the purpose.”
Russell explains that he hopes the implementation, itself, will allow for law enforcement to catch the perpetrators.
Councilwoman Marie Carruba responded to Russell’s comments, stating that the cameras could serve as a deterrent for future incidents.
Park Manager Dan Stone told the Council that he’s working to obtain quotes for reoccurring costs for additional cameras. Stone also says he’s talking with area non-profits about securing additional funding the City would need.
WNY News Now also spoke with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist following the meeting. Sundquist was asked for his take on the vandalism, along with the May theft of other statues at Dow Park, just days after his return from a vacation.
The Mayor says that he was “appalled” after hearing about the recent vandalism from Chief Jackson.
“I said before, and I’ll say again, what that was was a hate crime,” Sundquist said. “This is something that we do not accept and do not allow in the City of Jamestown. We want to make it very clear to people that we will try to find the people who did this, who perpetrated it, and bring them under charges to the fullest extent of the law.”
Sundquist says he’s learned that the joint investigation between Jamestown Police and the FBI is ongoing. Crime Stoppers WNY announced Monday it’s offering a $2,500 reward for info into the stealing of the statue in May.