Farmington’s newest entertainment facility is being monitored by three wide-angle surveillance cameras with a monitor going 24 hours a day at the nearby police station. It’s a case of safety and security, and the city’s way of assuring the park is being used for its intended purpose.
Police dispatchers man the dispatch center every hour of the day. One of their new tasks is to keep an eye on what’s taking place at the new park. At the first sign of trouble — of any kind — an officer or emergency personnel can be on their way to the scene.
“It’s there for safety reasons mainly,” Police Chief Rick Baker said of the monitor system. “But it’s also there if there’s a crime being committed (of any type).” Dispatchers also watch the park during nighttime hours, when no one is supposed to be on the concrete surface.
And the monitor isn’t the only piece of new equipment in the police station. A “ring down” phone sits on the dispatch console. It’s connected by a direct line to a phone at the skate park. Anyone needing to report a crime or any other matter has only to pick up the phone and push one button. They’re immediately connected to a police dispatcher.
The park has seen heavy use since opening just more than a week ago. Parks and Recreation officials were forced to temporarily close the facility earlier this week because of a thin layer of ice on the concrete surface. A temporary sign was posted at the entrance to the park.
Baker says the dispatchers have a complete view of the skating area by switching randomly between the three cameras. While it’s yet another task for dispatchers to handle, the city hopes it will be well worth the trouble in keeping down potential problems or damage in the future.