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lakefront cameras debated

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 14:45 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Michigan City's lakefront could be outfitted with

surveillance cameras to help prevent drownings and keep the historic lighthouse free of graffiti.

The city council Tuesday night further discussed a request to spend $89,000 for installing eight surveillance cameras at Washington Park.

Sharon Carnes and Tim Bietry questioned if cameras would be effective.

Since the plan is not to constantly monitor the cameras, they said it might be too late to rescue someone drowning or committing a crime like vandalism even if they were spotted at some point on a screen.

''It's after the fact at that point. I didn't really see where that made any sense,'' Bietry said.

Carnes said a better solution to preventing a drowing would be adding lifeguards at the beach.

Supporters, though, said cameras would help especially if there were no witnesses to a struggling swimmer or someone falling off the pier.

Michigan City Fire Marshal Kyle Kazmierczak said cameras could help save a life and the footage would pinpoint the exact location of someone before they went under to assist in a recovery.

He said recordings of crimes being committed could also help identify the suspects.

''Why is it every new store you go into has cameras everywhere. It deters people from doing things they should not be doing,'' said councilman Ron Hamilton, Jr.

Kazmierczak said cameras are the next phase in an already developed strategy for preventing drownings.

The first step was installing more than 20 floatation devices along the pier in 2016 and video surveillance could stop the occasional vandal from discarding them into the lake.

Kazmierczak said cameras would also enhance security during major events like the annual Great Lakes Grand Prix and for a 60 foot long boat expected to arrive soon for offering cruises this summer.

The council is expected to make a decision on the proposal at its March 20th meeting.