GAINESVILLE – Surveillance cameras are coming to one of Gainesville’s most popular new parks.
“I wish I could go down there and sell tickets,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish told members of the Gainesville City Council at their work session Thursday morning. Parrish was referring to the new Gainesville Skate Park on the corner of Pine and High Streets that opened in June.
“No matter what time I come to work or what time I go home that place is packed,” Parrish said.
Parrish was before the city council to ask its approval for his department to accept a block grant, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, in the amount of $12,848. Parrish said he already had a plan in mind for those funds, so with him stood Kate Mattison, Gainesville Parks and Recreation Director.
She and Parrish had been discussing possible security concerns at the new facility. “During the summer our School Resource Officers were able to be down there…but some of our worry comes after dark, when things close down,” Parrish said.
“So with this grant…we want to integrate the existing security camera system that we use…at other infrastructure in the city, at Skate Park,” Parrish said. “It’ll require about six to eight cameras down there that will be networked in, and we believe that those cameras will not only deter crime but make people have that sense of safety when they take their families out there,” he explained.
Mayor Danny Dunagan liked the idea and told Parrish, “That’s a good deal. I think that’s well needed…you don’t see as many of them (skateboarders) downtown now.” Skateboarding in the downtown area had generated many complaints from local merchants and pedestrians in recent years.
Park hours are 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. seven days a week. The park is lighted when the sun sets and the lights turn off automatically at 11:00 p.m.