Cameras planned along river trails may help Farmington police investigate crimes
FARMINGTON — Cameras will soon be installed in six locations along the river trails in Farmington.
The Farmington City Council has approved purchasing the cameras for approximately $43,600 as part of a pilot program that will later extend to other locations throughout the city.
During the City Council meeting on March 10, City Manager Rob Mayes said Farmington has also been awarded $302,000 in capital outlay money for cameras. However, Mayes said staff would have asked the City Council to approve the $43,600 camera purchase for the pilot project even if it had not received the capital outlay funds.
The pilot project will help the city prepare for expanding the program using grant money and the capital outlay cash.
“It will help guide us in wise expenditure of the $302,000,” Mayes said.
In addition to the $302,000 of capital outlay money, Farmington has received $198,000 of grant funding.
The cameras are intended to help the police department investigate crimes and increase public safety. Police Chief Steve Hebbe said the department is working toward creating a real time crime center like ones that currently exist in Albuquerque and Hobbs.
Farmington Police Lt. Casey Malone said the pilot program cameras will be located in Animas Park, at the All Veterans Memorial Plaza, at the playground and parking lot area in Berg Park, by the gazebo in Berg Park, in the area of the Broadway Avenue bridge and in Boyd Park.
He explained that those locations were chosen either because they are popular destinations or because crimes have been committed in those places.
Hebbe added that the locations were also chosen based on where people tend to enter and exit the parks.
The police department hopes to extend the camera system in the future to include other parks, such as Brookhaven, the downtown corridor and several intersections throughout the city.
The intersection lights will not be used to catch people running red lights or driving faster than the speed limit, Hebbe said. Instead, he said the cameras will be used to investigate criminal activities.
The Farmington City Council meeting can be viewed online at fmtn.org.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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