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Watervliet using state funds to expand security camera capabilities

New security camera placement at the Veterans Memorial Park and Swimming Pool
Samantha Simmons
New security camera placement at the Veterans Memorial Park and Swimming Pool

The city of Watervliet has implemented a new camera system that police can watch in real time.

With 40 new cameras, the city now has 70 360-degree cameras installed. The emphasis in the Albany County city is on areas like public parks. In addition to the new cameras, several license plate readers have been implemented. Police Chief Joseph Centanni said Thursday the cameras cover the city at large.

“I am confident in telling you, comfortable in telling you that they are at all entry points into the city,” said Centanni.

Centanni says the technology can aid officers in identifying suspects and witnesses.

“They have already delivered critical information on countless occasions which have led to the successful resolution of investigations ranging from low-level nuisance complaints to gun and drug offenses,” said Centanni.

Centanni says the video footage is being monitored by every officer in the city.

“Our officers have 100% availability to them 24 hours a day,” said Centanni. “In fact, another part of this grant I like to call the third component was able to purchase all new computers for inside of the police department and the justification of those computers, the upgrades of those computers provides each one of them the ability to monitor these cameras.”

The $250,000 investment was made possible through talks between Democratic state Assemblyman John McDonald of the 108th district and Speaker Carl Heastie.

McDonald says the new technology will be helpful in keeping residents safe.

“This is a tool to support the police department, not just to supplant them,” said McDonald. “And I think the mayor and the chief have done a remarkable job implementing this program throughout the city. I look at the technology as much more advanced than when I started back in 2010.”

Mayor Charles Patricelli says upgrading and expanding the system has been a top priority.

“With the uptick in violence, violent crimes in our surrounding communities, these cameras will provide our men the essential tools they need to combat crime here in Watervliet,” said Patricelli.

Officials say the cameras are virtually maintenance free, only requiring infrequent software updates. They were installed by Intervid, a provider of security, surveillance, evidence and asset management systems with a location in Albany.

In Watervliet, this is Samantha Simmons for WAMC News.

Samantha joined the WAMC staff after interning during her final semester at the University at Albany. A Troy native, she looks forward to covering what matters most to those in her community. Aside from working, Samantha enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and cat. She can be reached by phone at (518)-465-5233 Ext. 211 or by email at ssimmons@wamc.org.
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