McCartney: $4.6M CCTV up by Christmas
By Christmas, nearly every inch of Bay Street from fish fry to the Paradise Island Bridge will be under close surveillance by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Deputy Commissioner Quinn McCartney told Guardian Business that the comprehensive closed circuit television network (CCTV) is well underway. In fact, teams are now constructing the all-important “command center” at police headquarters.
“Once that is done, the cameras will be installed at various sites identified,” McCartney revealed. “The initial phase is from St. Albans Drive on West Bay Street to as far as the Paradise Island Bridge. We plan on having more cameras even further west, although we haven’t decide where.”
While the deputy commission couldn’t comment on the exact spacing or spread of the cameras, he described the system was “blanket coverage”.
The announcement brings to fruition a $4.6 million contract signed in late April by Lowe’s Security Limited, Avrio RMS Group and Security Centers International. The contract covers the installation of 243 cameras, ancillary equipment, video management software, licence plate recognition software and the ability to outfit the command center.
Indeed, by 2013, the police will have a considerable leg-up in the fight against crime in the country’s most crucial financial and tourism district. The Bahamas will join major metropolitan centers, such as London, New York and Toronto, in offering substantial video surveillance of public areas.
“The area is considered the economic center, and you have Parliament, government businesses, in addition to a number of tourism and recreational centers populated by tourists,” he noted.
Princess Margaret Hospital, now undergoing a major expansion and redevelopment, will also be eyed by CCTV cameras.
McCartney told Guardian Business that the command center will be finished at the end of this month. Camera installations begin immediately thereafter.
He said the system should be “significantly” up and running by christmas and the new year.
That should come as welcomed news by tourism stakeholders. In April, Executive Director at the Bahamas Hotel Association, Frank Comito, said the network is seen as an important crime-fighting tool.
“In awarding this contract, we needed to ensure that we both have local and international expertise. personally, I am pleased because I feel that is an invaluable crime-fighting tool,” Comito said.