Johnstown adds video cameras to downtown

New video surveillance cameras have been installed by the Johnstown police at key intersections in t

New video surveillance cameras have been installed by the Johnstown police at key intersections in the city’s downtown area.

Johnstown Police Lt. Mark Gifford said three cameras have been installed, one each at the corners of Main and North and South Perry streets; Market and Main streets; and Main and William streets. The cameras will also supply images from Johnstown’s downtown park.

“These could be used to deter vandalism or really any crime that could occur in that area, including pedestrians coming out of bars or traffic issues,” Gifford said.

Eva Marie Mraz, who owns the downtown business A & E Enterprises, said she both lives and works in Johnstown’s downtown area. She said she’s been the victim of spray-paint vandalism and she believes there has been a slight increase in downtown crime that these cameras could help fight.

“I think it’s going to help the Police Department control things a little more. The police on the beat now are phenomenal, they check our doors and look around the corners at night, but I think this will help them, especially with vandalism,” she said. “I feel a little safer knowing we’ve got a few more eyes watching us.”

Johnstown Councilman-at-large Bryan Marcucci, who is also a veteran downtown business owner, said the cameras were purchased using a state grant secured for the city by State Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna. He said the grant was approximately $20,000 and it paid for all of the equipment that will be used for the camera surveillance.

“Bigger cities have been doing this for years. They can take a picture of your plate if you’re speeding and they can just come to your home. I think it’s good because in our downtown area, as long as I’ve been there, there have been people who’ll race up the street in the summertime if the lights from Stewart’s to the county building are all green,” he said.

Gifford said the Police Department is in the process of installing a computer server system for the cameras at police headquarters, which will enable one officer to monitor the images from all three cameras throughout the day.

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