By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
Following a costly series of vandalism, the security system in Fulton’s downtown park is receiving a major overhaul.
During their recent regular meeting, Fulton leaders discussed the problems with Playgarden Park’s current security system and what it would take to make things right.
“The cameras we have out there just aren’t clear enough,” Fulton Mayor Paul Walker told the board.
Fulton Police Chief Reggie Johnson further explained the problems with the cameras’ picture quality.
Nodding toward Alderman Kevin Nolan, Johnson said, “If Kevin Nolan was out there doing something and I was looking at the video, I wouldn’t know it was Kevin Nolan. It’s just not what you need.”
Earlier this month, three of the stone grates that circle the main statue at the center of the park were pulled from their places and shattered. Each of these stones costs around $150 to replace.
The vandals also opened a small maintenance hatch in the ceiling of the park’s gazebo for reasons unknown.
Although the suspects were caught on the park’s cameras, it’s impossible to tell who they are.
“You can tell it’s two kids fooling with those things … but as for telling who it might be, you just can’t do it,” Johnson told the board.
This is the third time the city has had to replace some of these stones due to vandalism. According to Walker, these grates will be replaced with metal grating in the near future.
The new security system, which the board voted unanimously to purchase, will be a vast improvement over the old. There will be eight light intensifier cameras, each providing a far more detailed picture than the current infrared cameras can provide.
Police and aldermen will also be able to remotely view all footage shot with the cameras.
The estimated cost of the new system is just under $5,000. The cost will be split between the city and an unnamed third party benefactor, who the board said offered to both help pay for a new security system and is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals who vandalized the park.
“I think we should take the grant from this generous individual and upgrade our system,” the mayor told the board.
The new system should be up and running in the near future.