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Troy Officials To Address Malfunctioning Police Cameras

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

City officials in Troy are looking for answers about malfunctioning police cameras. It comes amid community concern over a recent uptick in crime. 

Republican City Council president Carmella Mantello aims to bring cameras up tonight at a previously scheduled Council Finance Committee meeting.  "I added the surveillance police cameras, which have been malfunctioning over the past couple of years off and on, to the agenda. I believe it's time to stop talking about it, put together a plan, the council, I certainly am ready to work with the mayor. I'm ready willing and able if we need to bond we will do so, for funding to ensure that we get an appropriate vendor on board to ensure that these cameras are working all the time and all at once."

Mantello says it's time to push all excuses aside.   "What we're being told over the past several months is, it's not a hardware issue. It's a software issue. It's a data technology SD card issue. Well, fix the issue. Other municipalities cameras are up and running. The people of Troy, the neighborhoods of Troy, deserve to know that that these cameras are up and running and that they're functioning at all times properly.”

Referring to an informational meeting Monday  to address recent violence in Lansingburgh, Mantello adds that the cameras may not necessarily be a panacea, but do effectively deter and sometimes help solve crime.

Democratic Mayor Patrick Madden's office issued a statement hailing the Lansingburgh meeting as "a great opportunity for residents to interact with the Chief of Police and gain a better understanding of how they can help public safety efforts in their neighborhoods." 

Troy Police Chief Brian Owens agrees.  "A lot of good input and concerns shared by community members. I thought there was a very wide representation, not just form Lansingburgh area but even our North Central neighborhoods. In terms of the surveillance cameras, that's a project that we've been working on for months to try to figure out how to upgrade the place and improve the system as it exists. We're looking at multiple vendors, different options on how we can solve the problem of the network connections, storage and the cameras themselves. We'll provide an update this evening to the council and we'll see what their priorities are in terms of funding or expanding the program or just trying to get what we have in place working better."

Mantello has high expectations for tonight's meeting.  "Tonight there's going to be no excuses. We want a timeline. We want a plan and the council, I believe on both sides of the aisle, will unanimously support it, whatever it takes.  Let's just stop talking about. Let's get them fixed. Let's get them up and running and working at all times."

The Finance Committee Meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Troy City Council Chambers.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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