As a proactive public safety measure for the community, Orange County Parks and Recreation Division has installed four new surveillance cameras on multi-use pedestrian trails, including the West Orange Trail, Pine Hills Trail, Little Econ Greenway and Cady Way Trail. The cameras have been placed in locations purposely visible in an effort to deter after-hours activity and crime.
“This represents a worthwhile investment for public safety,” said Danny Banks, Orange County Public Safety Director. “The cameras are overt and visible because we want people to know they’re there for the benefit of their safety, but we also want the bad guys to know the good guys are watching them.”
Orange County collaborated with the Orange County Sherriff’s Office to determine which camera system to use and suitable locations in which to place them on the trails, which close after sunset. The solar-powered FlashCAM system takes still photographs and gives an audible warning to trespassers. It is also portable, which means it can be moved to various areas throughout the trail network. Each camera costs $7,000 and is 10” wide x 7 ¾” high x 9 ¼” deep at the base and 11 ¼” deep on the hood.
“We looked at multiple cameras and decided this was the best option,” said Matt Suedmeyer, manager, Orange County Parks & Recreation Division. “The camera can zoom in and get close-up photos of both faces and license plates, and the fact it audibly announces that you’re trespassing and your photo has been taken is a huge deterrent to criminal activity.”
Suedmeyer added this is just the first step in enhancing public safety in Orange County. “Right now, we’re deploying cameras on our high-use trails, but as we measure their success, we’ll add more both on our trails and in our parks.”