Police partner with Governors Park management to curtail crime – New video cameras at the heart of new efforts that sprang from community meeting

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
By Joe Domelowicz

Winthrop Police Chief Terrence Delehanty and Governors Park property manager Dave Belcher this week announced a new partnership between the Winthrop Police and the staff and residents of Governors Park to curtail crime at and around the residential complex off of Revere Street.

Governors Park has made the investment and installed 12 new video surveillance cameras throughout the Governors Park complex, as a way of providing police and property management with the video proof they need to catch criminals and vandals in the act.

"This whole effort actually came out of a community meeting the Winthrop Police held with the Revere Street business district and Governors Park management earlier this year," explained Chief Delehanty. "We had been getting reports from business owners and residents in that area that there is a criminal element down there that has been disruptive, has caused problems, committed crimes and has driven away business."

According to both Chief Delehanty and Belcher, that criminal element was frequently seen loitering around the entrance to Governors Park, just off the property. However, police patrols designed to discourage activity only caused the problem to move around from place to place.

"The whole town is dealing with kids causing trouble and the ability of kids to communicate with each other through technology has made our efforts to curtail that kind of behavior unsuccessful," added Belcher. "We’ve had a history of large groups of kids hanging around right outside the property causing problems and since we installed these cameras those problems have been cut in half."

According to both men, the new surveillance cameras can be accessed by the Winthrop Police department through a secure internet connection and they are also monitored by Governors Park management throughout the day.

"This gives us a tool so that if a resident tells us that there was some kind of activity or commotion in a certain area at a particular time, I can go to the video for that area and that time and find out what was going on and if there was something that the police need to know about," explained Belcher.

From the police department’s perspective, the obstacle to catching and prosecuting crimes in the Governors Park area in the past has been a lack of willing witnesses to testify against the offenders.

"I think we’ve done a pretty good job of recording the crime that happens in that area, but where we’ve often had trouble down there is with witnesses who are afraid to get involved," explained Chief Delehanty. "Now, with the video cameras and our access to the cameras, we can find the evidence we need to identify those who are responsible for the crimes and hold them accountable."

The twelve new cameras and computers to operate them cost the Governors Park community approximately $25,000, but Belcher said it is money well spent.

"I think it will help raise the property values in the development," he said. "We can see truthfully that this property is now protected by police surveillance 24 hours a day, I think easily it will mean a $5,000 value to the re-sale of any of these units. At the same time, we’ve helped to cut down on the number of problems we were having as well."

Delehanty said he is very gratified that Governors park management and the owners association have "stepped up to the plate" to be good neighbors and partners in the solving the problems that have historically plagued the complex.

"I think that the management and ownership group down there have made the decision be part of the solution, not the problem and I think it shows that they are concerned with being good neighbors to their Winthrop community," said Delehanty.

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