With the goal of making the public spaces in Turlock a little safer, the City recently installed surveillance cameras at Broadway and Denair parks.
The additional cameras were installed in an “ongoing effort to address the concerns of businesses and residents throughout the City of Turlock,” according to a statement released by the City.
Surveillance systems have already been running at Donnelly and Columbia parks.
Broadway Park is located at 501 N. Broadway, in between the City’s Public Safety Facility and the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds main entrance. Denair Park is located at 850 E. Main St., near Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Both Broadway and Denair parks are known to have large homeless populations. In 2018 and 2019, law enforcement and City staff cleared out a homeless encampment that was erected adjacent to Broadway Park. At that time, area residents complained of daily drug dealing and prostitution activities which made it unsafe to visit the park with their families. Broadway Park is the location of one of the city’s two water spray parks designed for children to cool off in the summer months.
Homeless themselves have also been victims of harassment at the parks. In September, one woman who was seated next to a deconstructed tent with her belongings said that people often throw things at her, including water bottles, lemons and firecrackers.
“My job as Chief of Police is to ensure we are both proactive, as well as reactive,” said Jason Hedden, City of Turlock Police Chief. “Security cameras were previously installed at other locations, and we have now implemented monitoring systems at Broadway and Denair parks. I will continue to assess our progress as we examine ways to keep our parks and communities safe.”
The security cameras that have been installed at four parks in Turlock are monitored between the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. by associated security companies. The cameras are equipped with a siren and two-way communication feature to allow the security company to audibly announce that criminal activity is being recorded to prevent crime.
At their Oct. 12 meeting, the Turlock City Council approved a six-year contract for security and fire alarm monitoring with B.I.C. Security Systems out of Ceres.
“I am proud of the work that Chief Hedden continues to do in Turlock,” said Mayor Amy Bublak. “His leadership and expertise in law enforcement adds incredible value to our residents and businesses. This expansion of monitoring in our parks increases the safety and security of this wonderful city that we all call home.”
“The Turlock City Council has always prioritized the safety of our residents,” said City Manager Reagan Wilson. “We are all committed to addressing the needs of our community, and Chief Hedden is doing an outstanding job in his outreach and management of resources.”