Harvard police will move forward with the installation of a surveillance camera at West Front and North Ayer streets after the project was recommended by the city’s Crime Stoppers committee on Monday.
The city has two cameras at Five Points Park, Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause said. Harvard Mayor Michael Kelly said one of the cameras helped to identify a suspect involved in a bank robbery a few years ago.
“We’ve had some issues, and it kind of comes and goes in spats, with bars and that population, and [Ayer and Front] seems to be where our bars are centrally located,” Krause said.
Kelly said the additional camera downtown will help with policing, especially in such a high-activity area during evenings, when it’s impossible to station a uniformed police officer.
“Within the last six weeks, there’s been at least two incidents where we can utilize that surveillance to understand the nature of those incidents,” Kelly said.
Krause said he contacted Fox Valley Electric, which gave a quote of between $1,750 and $2,000 to install a fisheye camera with a 360-degree field of view. Once it is set up, the company estimates it will cost about $700 for every additional camera, since an infrastructure will be established from the first one.
At the end of 2018, the Harvard Crime Stoppers account contained about $4,800. Krause said the fund has not been very active in the past couple of years.