The Maplewood Township Committee voted to install new security cameras at Maplecrest Park, at the behest of residents after a park shooting incident.
The Township Committee voted 4-0 in favor of installing three cameras at $5,000 each to be paid through the Open Space Trust Fund to increase security at the park.
Mayor Victor De Luca, Deputy Mayor Kathleen M. Leventhal and Committee members India Larrier and Gerard Ryan all voted in favor. Committeeman Marlon K. Brownlee was unable to attend the meeting.
The cameras are in response to an August incident in which a man fired a handgun into a crowded Maplecrest Park.
“The witnesses observed the male fire several shots in the direction of a group that was playing football in the park,” Maplewood Chief of Police Robert Cimino said at the time of the incident.
He then fled the park in a white vehicle driving northbound on Oakland Road, police said.
No one was injured in the shooting.
De Luca, Brownlee, who is also the Public Safety Committee Chairman, and Cimino held a public meeting shortly after to discuss the shooting with the community.
“We need more deterrents,” said resident Erin Scherzer who suggested more visible cameras. “Whether it was random or not, what happened is completely uncomfortable. (The shooter) could have hit my 18-month old. This person could have hurt my child.”
Members of the community, including members of neighborhood associations, also expressed concerns and discussed possible solutions and deterrents including better lighting, emergency poles similar to those on college campuses and better communication between the town and its citizens.
The Township Committee made good on their promises, Tuesday, and not only approved the cameras but also announced that they will also be having better lighting installed at the park.