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Mount Vernon To Buy Security Cameras For Parks

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City Council voted to buy 12 Q-Tip security cameras for the city’s parks, though two council members abstained from the vote, saying they wanted more time to analyze another system being evaluated by the Mount Vernon Police Department.

Council members J. Yuhanna Edwards and Richard Thomas both abstained from the vote. Both said they were not against purchasing the cameras, but Edwards added that maybe the city should have bought fewer than 12. Edwards said that since the weather will be cold soon, purchasing the cameras is not an immediate need.

“We want to know if the cameras are effective,” Thomas said. “The data shows that they are effective for dumping sites but not parks. We had nine murders in the city so far this year. The Police Department are the right bodies to be putting in devices to keep us safe.”

Resident John Garner, who was in Hartley Park on Thursday afternoon, said he supports the cameras as long as they are used to keep people safe and not spy on them. Still, Garner said, crime in the city is not in the parks.

“I’m all for safety, especially for the children,” Garner said.

Council member Karen Watts-Yehudah said she voted to buy the cameras because it would be irresponsible not to, since the proposal for cameras from the Police Department will take at least six months. Watts-Yehudah that she spoke with officials in both Peekskill and Yonkers, which have similar cameras, and that led to her decision.

Council member Deborah Reynolds said the cameras are a wonderful idea that will increase safety in the city’s parks.

“These are reasonable cameras, and the residents deserve the safety,” Reynolds said. “We had an incident recently where someone was shot by a police precinct. I know the Police Department have been talking about other cameras, but this is a time-sensitive issue, so we need to buy them.”

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