Increased interest in new surveillance camera program “a very good sign”


Since its launch in April, 71 cameras have been registered with the SCRAM program and over $ 2,000 in discounts have been given

The city’s new security camera program is gaining momentum as more and more people participate.

The city has partnered with the Orillia OPP to launch the Security Camera Recording and Mapping (SCRAM) program on April 22, offering residents and businesses the option of installing cameras at the outside their buildings and register them with the police.

Participants can request a discount covering half the cost of the camera system, up to a maximum of $ 500.

During the first promotion, only one application was received. The second school year, from May to July, saw 10 applications.

There are currently 71 cameras registered with SCRAM, the Orillia Police Services Board (OPSB) learned at its meeting on Tuesday.

“This is a very good sign,” said Mayor Steve Clarke, Chairman of the Board. “I hope that the growing interest in the (rebate) program continues.”

He encourages people to participate, saying the system serves two main purposes: to deter crime and to aid in criminal investigations.

“It’s a great way to get the community involved,” he said.

During the meeting, the OPSB approved $ 1,885.81 in rebates, bringing the total provided this year to $ 2,048.31. That leaves $ 22,951.69 remaining in the remission budget for 2021.

Since its launch in April, SCRAM has been “pretty smooth,” Clarke said.

There has been “growing pain,” he added.

In a letter to the OPSB, Insp. Coyer Yateman, commander of the OPP Orillia detachment, said he had “learned that there was a problem with the SCRAM program and the ability for police to review surveillance footage.”

During the investigation, the police enlist the help of the camera owners to make a copy of the surveillance video. The police provide them with a USB key, which comes at a cost.

“Additionally, the videos are from different operating systems and most of the videos cannot be viewed on our OPP computers without first downloading the software,” Yateman wrote. “The challenge here is that most of the software is not allowed on our OPP computers, causing significant delays in reviewing surveillance footage.”

He asked the OPSB to provide funding for a stand-alone computer, which would not be connected to the OPP network, as well as for USB sticks. Surveillance software would be downloaded to the computer and officers would use it to examine the images.

The cost of the computer is estimated to be between $ 500 and $ 800, and USB drives cost $ 5 to $ 8 each.

Clarke called Yateman’s request “very appropriate.”

“We want to make sure it’s viable and that it works,” he said.

The council has agreed to provide a maximum of $ 1,500 for the purchase of USB keys and a computer.

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