Overhauled surveillance camera system in downtown Barrie


Smile! You could be in front of the camera.

Barrie Police Department is finalizing an updated CCTV network downtown.

It is also extending its field of vision with the help of local residents with around ten people registered to date on the camera register of the service launched at the start of the year.

The city center CCTV system was installed almost a decade ago with 10 camera locations.

A recent financial injection allowed the police department to update and harden the system, meaning there will be 19 once they are all installed.

The Barrie Police Department had secured a $ 170,000 provincial closed-circuit television (CCTV) grant as part of a three-year, $ 6 million provincial program. In 2019, the city also invested $ 225,000 in the Barrie Police Department’s designated CCTV capital reserve to replace the cameras in 2020 and 2021.

“There will be a total of 19 cameras downtown,” said community safety officer Const. Keira Brooks, adding that 15 are new in the past two months and three more are in the process of being replaced.

The construction of the city center delayed the installation of the 19th.

The cameras, she added, are highly visible and are intended to aid police investigations, although they are not monitored.

“Our goal, of course, is to keep our community safe and secure and these cameras allow us and us to obtain evidence or assist in investigations when necessary,” said Brooks. “We just want to make sure we can get the evidence when we need it.”

Recognizing that cameras add value to investigations, police have also reached out to the community so that they can map locations where people are willing to share footage obtained on their personal surveillance system if necessary.

The Security Camera Registry allows police officers to quickly determine the location of security cameras they might access during investigations.

“So the police have access to who has cameras in a neighborhood,” Brooks said.

In the event of a break-in, for example, officers can turn to the registry to see who has cameras instead of knocking on every door in the neighborhood.

But just because someone has signed up doesn’t mean they have to return the video on demand.

“We were always reaching out and asking,” said Brooks, who added that the overall goal is to work collaboratively with community members and involve them in solving problems in the community. “We don’t have access to someone registering their camera with us.

“You can go to our Barrie Police Department’s website and you can record your camera… to help prevent and fight crime in your neighborhood,” she added.

Faheem Malik knows the value of cameras firsthand.

Malik’s own security cameras last month clearly recorded someone trying to break into his cars in his driveway. He quickly sent a copy of the video to the city police.

“We have our neighborhood Facebook page, so I posted the video there,” the Barrie man said. “And then a lot of people came and said, ‘Ah, yeah, we saw it on our camera too.'”

After a house was broken into and a car stolen in Barrie’s southernmost neighborhood, he shared his footage with police. He likes the idea of ​​the registry and the use of cameras to keep bandits at bay.

A dozen people have already registered.

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