Massachusetts library installs CCTV system

pmetaxas@repub.com

CHICOPEE - Fifteen new interior and exterior security cameras along with a variety of security monitoring and alarm upgrades are now in use at the new Chicopee Public Library, giving officials and staff an improved sense of security and safety.

Library director Nancy M. Contois said, "Yes, they are all in, and we have a nice monitor in the lobby that allows us to put announcements on the monitor, which has a running tag line on the bottom. It's a welcome to the Chicopee Public Library, and it's kind of fun as patrons enter the lobby. It's one of the components of the whole package."

"We are able to provide information on our programs and have the capacity to project informational items such as video and graphics and show pictures to promote the library," Contois said.

It also functions as a surveillance camera that records those going in and out of the library.

The scrolling feature "is a good way to advertise the library and we are making every effort to get people's attention when they come into the library and help them know what is going on," Contois said.

The system will help library staff monitor equipment and the building inside and outside, she said.

Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette has said the security systems were not part of the original package when the $9.3 million library at 449 Front St. opened in 2004.

There is now surveillance in the rear where the amphitheater is located. There is also sharing of security with the adjacent Chicopee Health Center which also has exterior surveillance cameras.

The $58,000 for the system came from the city's Information Technology Department budget. ADT Security Services Inc. of West Springfield installed it.

Bissonnette said the closed circuit system can also be used to televise seminars and other events.

Several instances of vandalism prompted city officials to upgrade the entire system including the fire alarms.

Changes include number of cameras and locations selected for better identification shots at entrances and throughways, coverage of the parking lot, easy search of video files, expandability to include citywide coverage, remote administration, flexible control for remote viewing by police and others, exterior cameras painted to match architecture and upgrade of burglar alarm system.

Bissonnette said Chicopee Electric Light is now seeking cost estimates for camera surveillance at three downtown intersections.

In preparation for the camera installation, the utility has already placed 25-foot poles with high pressure sodium lamps in 2006 and additional lighting in 2007.


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