Call it “Big Brother” or call it “Sensible Security” for the town – but however you feel about it, when you visit or shop in Toledo, chances are you’ll be video recorded and it’ll be viewable in the Toledo Police Department.
City Manager Jay Baughman told the council that there are already a number of city operated surveillance cameras mounted on city buildings and that that many private businesses also have them mounted in and on their buildings as well. He said the cameras have provided video from all these sources and have actually helped the police department solve crimes.
The $23,000 expenditure for the 19 additional cameras, to be installed over the next two years, was approved by the city council but they added that before the cameras are installed they want to know where each camera will be located. City Councilor Jill Lyon said she was a bit uncomfortable with the proposal not knowing just where the cameras would be aimed. The agenda item said only that the cameras would be installed on city streets and thoroughfares. She said she would much rather prefer the cameras be used to provide security for city buildings and other work areas and for those who work in and around them.
Toledo resident Bill Farley protested the cameras claiming it violated personal constitutional protections. City Attorney Michael Adams disagreed, saying he didn’t think there were any such issues in that such cameras are used throughout the country for crime deterrence and general police surveillance. Again councilors reiterated their opposition to any camera being aimed at or zoomed in on individual homes or businesses. Councilor Jackie Kaufman added, “If you don’t want to be seen picking your nose in public, don’t pick your nose in public!” Julie Rockwell added “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why worry about the cameras…”
The sole source bid was awarded to Harlan Jenkins, owner of HC Incorporated, the city’s computer systems maintenance contractor who, City Manager Jay Baughman claimed, has more knowledge about city’s IT issues than anyone.
The vote was unanimous among councilors to move ahead with buying the cameras and having them installed – but again first they want to review where they will be situated.
And the city council voted unanimously to once again shut down Toledo’s Main Street from Business 20 to the foot of Main to accommodate little ghosts and goblins who will be out trick or treating on Main Street – wandering about and between local businesses who will entice visitors with candy and warm welcomes.
Main Street will be closed Halloween afternoon from 3:30pm through 6:30pm. And that includes the cross streets.