Cameras to watch over borough

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NAUGATUCK — Lights. Cameras. Evidence. Twenty surveillance cameras will soon be monitoring the borough from streetlights.

The cameras are included in a $1.2 million lease purchase agreement officials have approved to pay to switch the streetlights in the borough to light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. The change to LED lights is expected to save the borough money over the long term and the cameras are intended to help deter and solve crimes.

Deputy Mayor Robert Neth, who chaired the committee that looked into changing the streetlights, said the cameras will help the borough keep an eye on known trouble areas.

“There are specific areas in town that are extremely important for police investigations and vandalism,” Neth said. “There is quite a bit of vandalism in the Salem School area.”

Naugatuck Deputy Police Chief Joshua Bernegger said the cameras will be installed within the streetlights themselves for their protection and to make them undetectable.

Bernegger said the police department worked with the committee to come up with the best locations to place the cameras. These locations include heavily traveled intersections, main roads leading in and out of the borough, Church Street, and the Town Green.

“We worked in collaboration with them and came up with areas where we could get the most bang for our buck. We looked at criminal hotspots around town and areas where there is the most activity,” Bernegger said.

Bernegger said the cameras will transmit to a video recording device and be reviewed as needed. The cameras will not be monitored on a live feed, he said.

Bernegger said the department’s intent is to use the cameras to assist investigations.

“Let’s say we have a robbery that takes place at Cumberland Farms on North Main Street. There is a camera in that area. We can look back at our footage and use it in conjunction with the business’ camera. We can tell which way the person went and if they left either on foot or vehicle,” Bernegger said.

Depending on the weather, Neth said, installation of the cameras could start as early as January.

Aside from crime, Neth added, he hopes the cameras can help with the issue of people illegally dumping trash, such as old tires and mattresses, in the industrial park.

“If we see people drive up there with stuff we can zoom in on the license plate,” Neth said.

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