DOWNEY – A video surveillance system will be installed at Brookshire Park in an effort to rid the park of public drinking, loitering and other nuisances. City Council members agreed to the plan Tuesday and authorized paying $18,519 for the multi-camera setup.
“A camera system would improve safety conditions at the park and would help in deterring crime at the park and in the surrounding area,” Police Chief Carl Charles wrote in a report. “Furthermore, the camera system would help in identifying suspects and provide evidence needed for the prosecution of the violators.”
According to Charles, four cameras will be installed on light poles within the park. Police officers will be able to remotely access video footage and maneuver the camera through pan-tilt zoom capability.
Video footage will be saved to computer servers for 30 days, according to the police chief’s report.
The surveillance system also comes equipped with an invisible fence, which can be set up to alert police of trespassers during designated times. The video cameras are portable as well, so they can be moved to other locations on an as-needed basis.
Brookshire Park has long been a trouble spot for the police department. In 2014, police officers responded to the park 87 times for complaints of drug use, public intoxication, loitering after hours, fights, graffiti and excessive noise.
The park received a $200,000 renovation last summer, complete with a new walking trail and modern playground equipment.
- Sean Ashton has made his first appointments as a new Downey councilman.
Ashton appointed Patrick Owens to the Planning Commission, replacing Robert Kiefer, an appointee of termed-out councilman Mario Guerra.
Owens, who also sits on the Public Works Commission, was linked last year to DowneyWatchdog.com, an attack site against Guerra. (Owens blocked a reporter on Facebook when asked to comment.)
Ashton also appointed Owens’ wife, Diana Owens, to the Recreation and Community Commission, and Chuck Frey to the Green Task Force.
- Downey entered into an agreement with the city of Bellflower to improve the traffic signal at Bellflower Boulevard and Foster Road, and Woodruff Avenue and Foster Road.
The $481,000 project calls for replacing traffic signal poles and pedestrian countdown signs; upgrading the safety lights with energy efficient models; installing new underground conduits; replacing overhead street signs; installing battery backup systems; upgrading curb ramps; and replacing pavement markings and legends.
Downey and Bellflower will split the cost, with Downey acting as the lead agency.
- City Hall’s outdated phone system, installed in the mid-1980s and lacking basic features such as voicemail, will be replaced at a cost of nearly $500,000.
According to the city’s IT manager, Downey’s current Comdial phone system “has performed far beyond its expected lifespan.”
BVN/Mitel was chosen to perform the work. The company has completed similar work for the cities of Fullerton, Hemet and La Habra.
- Independence Park’s eight tennis courts will be professionally resurfaced, fixing extensive cracking and peeling from ongoing wear and tear.
Cost to resurface the courts, which were installed in 2002, is about $69,000. Corona-based Trueline will complete the work.
Despite the restoration, the tennis courts will require an extensive rehabilitation within 5-7 years, said city manager Gilbert Livas.
- After years of contracting with SoCalUniform for the city’s uniforms needs, Downey is switching to rival Cintas.
Since SoCalUniform was acquired by Ameripride Uniform Services, city workers have complained of poor service, including mismatched employee nametags, city logos installed upside down, and damaged uniforms returned without repair.
“Despite staff’s attempts to correct the ongoing issues, the problems continue to persist and service delivery time has not improved,” public works director Mohammad Mostahkami said.
Downey will contract with Cintas for a three-year term, with an annual rate not to exceed $20,000.
Published: Jan. 15, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 40