Southampton Town will install surveillance cameras in several of its parks and downtown areas to improve public safety, the town supervisor said.
The town police department will have access to the recordings, although the town does not have the manpower to monitor the 40 or so cameras in real time, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. The new equipment was requested by the parks department as well as the town police.
“They will serve as a deterrent; it keeps everyone a little more accountable,” Schneiderman said of the cameras. “It protects the public. It protects your employees. It helps security.”
The town board voted 5-0 during a July 10 work session to allocate $100,000 from its general fund and $130,000 from its police fund to install the new cameras.
The town also is changing its street lamps to LED lighting, and Schneiderman noted there is a cost savings in installing the cameras at the same time.
Schneiderman pointed to a July 3 incident — when $4,500 and 700 beach permits valued at $3,000 were stolen from a safe at Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays — as one reason better surveillance is needed at town parks.
Town officials did not disclose the parks where the cameras will be installed, but Schneiderman said they could be placed on the main streets of unincorporated hamlets such as Bridgehampton and Hampton Bays.
Some town parks, including Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays, already have surveillance cameras, he said. Cameras also are in place throughout Town Hall, where as of May visitors are required to present government-issued identification, a change prompted by the national rise of mass shootings in public places.