Maplesville beefing up safety

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2010

While Maplesville Mayor Kurt Wallace was not at first interested in purchasing 24-hour surveillance cameras to monitor downtown, the citizens and council’s plea changed his mind.

His agenda involves making his town safe, and if security cameras helped to do that, he’ll support the decision.

The Maplesville Town Council passed a resolution last Tuesday to install four surveillance cameras downtown, three exterior on Main Street and one inside the town hall lobby.

Wolff Pack LLC Computer Repair and Accessories will install the equipment, which owner Tom Wolff said would take 4-5 days. The system comes with a one-year warranty.

“It is a deterrent to crime,” Wallace said. “If people know they’re being watched, it makes them more cautious.”

Wallace said he initially disliked the idea of cameras in general, fearing the town would pay too much to record 24 hours of daily traffic. But the community response to the idea and council’s vote swayed him.

“I had a lot of different people in town who thought it was a great idea,” Wallace said. “If they feel safe, then it’s my role as their mayor to make them feel safe. I just hate that times have gotten to this point.”

Wallace originally suggested that, if the town purchased the cameras, they install at least one in the town hall lobby to monitor potential incidents at the clerk window.

“People just come in and get rowdy sometimes, they go into city halls angry and mad,” Wallace said. “I just think it would make the clerks feel safe. If people know they’re on camera, they tend to be nicer than they would otherwise.”

Wallace said purchasing the equipment locally was also important.

In light of recent criminal acts in Maplesville that have slowed thanks to increased police presence as of late, Wallace said the council wants to acknowledge their responsibility as leaders. Local break-ins, fires and assaults prompted the demand for the forthcoming surveillance.

“When things happen, you have to react in ways that will prevent them doing so down the road,” he said. “We’re hoping to do that. If you pay your taxes, you should feel safe at home. We’re trying to give the citizens that feeling of safety.”