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Big Brother’s Watching

Keeping an eye out — Security surveillance being featured in downtown Oswego to thwart vandalism, crime

By Lou Sorendo

surveillanceBig Brother is watching, but it’s all for the right reasons.

A network of security surveillance cameras has been established in downtown Oswego to prevent vandalism and offer more protection to public space and property owners.

The city recently completed two major public space improvement projects through the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant the city was awarded in 2016.

The $1.5 million “Complete Streets” project has resulted in benches, landscaping, infrastructure improvements and new pedestrian crosswalks along a portion of state Route 104, otherwise known as Bridge Street.

Also, a $900,000 project has resulted in improvements to Water Street and construction of a new pocket park — Water Street Square.

“We need to protect this investment from being vandalized and destroyed and adding cameras is one way to do just that,” said city of Oswego Mayor William “Billy” Barlow. “We also want our property owners to be confident that they can improve their store fronts and enhance their curb appeal without worrying about vandalism.

“If there is vandalism, we will identify the suspect and hold them accountable to prevent further trouble.”

Security cameras have been positioned on West Bridge Street, along the West Riverwalk and in the new Water Street Square, covering public space between West Oneida to West Cayuga Street and the West Riverwalk to West Second Street.

The camera system also gives local law enforcement an additional tool to use to follow up on incidents and investigations. Oswego City Police will have the ability to view what’s happening in multiple areas in real time as well as be able to review footage.

Twelve of the 26 downtown cameras had already been installed as of Aug. 9, with the balance of the cameras expected to be in place by Labor Day.

Barlow said the city also plans to install some cameras along its river walks and the O&W Railway tunnel on the city’s eastside.

The mayor said to also expect cameras along the Harbor Trail that runs along the base of Breitbeck Park.

The project cost is approximately $7,000 for all equipment, with installation being conducted by the city’s technology department.

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