Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wave of downtown breakins spotlights lack of surveillance

One block of downtown businesses has since 13 breakins.
A wave of 13 breakins in Plainfield's
downtown business district since June 6 has merchants jittery. I have been told that all of them occurred in the single block of East Front Street between Park and Watchung Avenues.

Though I have not heard that cash or goods were taken and most merchants have alarm systems, I am told by sources that the quality of surveillance video from merchants' devices is not very good on account of low light conditions.

These recent incidents throw a spotlight on the long-promised yet undelivered surveillance camera system for the downtown business district.

In the second term of Al McWilliams, conduit suitable for fiberglass and other communications -- including cable for a surveillance cam system -- was laid throughout the downtown shopping area as part of the streetscape redesign project.

Since the earliest days of the Robinson-Briggs administration, both Robinson-Briggs and Pubic Safety Director Martin Hellwig have promised that the city 'is working on' the surveillance cameras project.

At one point, Hellwig and Robinson-Briggs touted the outfitting of the Teppers basement as making it possible to locate a CCTV system there, but that plan came to naught.

Of late, there has been talk of locating the surveillance system in the basement of the police station but nothing more has been heard of that idea for months.

With only a few months remaining in Robinson-Briggs' final term, one wonders whether the merchants will get any relief in the matter or whether it will fall to a new administration in 2014 to finish the long-awaited system.

    -- Dan Damon [follow]

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    Rebecca Williams said...


    I have been providing monthly updates on the CCTV system, as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. They are on file in the Clerk's office.


    Anonymous said...

    Shot Spotter will make it all better

    Anonymous said...

    Dan I don't think that the Green team wants Plainfield to be safe and clean. The whole town is a mess,inside and out. I hope the next Mayor will make it a project to be put first on the list to completed. We need a safe and clean downtown.

    Anonymous said...

    Why does it take 8 years to make our downtown clean and safe? We need the someone who wants to do good for Plainfield and not someone who cares more about climbing the political ladder.