Vail to use cameras to help catch burglar
VAIL, Colorado – Six cameras around Vail Village will now record and keep recordings for seven days as part of an effort to help the Vail Police Department fight crime.
The town of Vail approved the installation of the cameras about a year ago and decided at that time not to allow the cameras to record. Fast-forward a year and the town of Vail is faced with an elusive burglar who has hit nine Vail Village businesses since July 1 and has continued to evade police.
Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger told the council that many of the business owners feel images from any of the six Vail Village cameras could have captured images useful in catching the suspect, and the Vail Police Department agrees.
Allowing the cameras to record could be put into place without impacting people’s civil rights, Henninger said.
After a lot of debate, the Vail Town Council agreed to allow the cameras to record for up to seven days, but members agreed to look at an overall policy on recording in public places within the next six months.
Councilwoman Kerry Donovan said she is uncomfortable with the recording, but heard enough community support to at least OK it for now.
Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said anyone who has an expectation of privacy in a public area is naive.
“It just doesn’t exist anymore,” Rogers said.
Rogers thinks the town should look into letting the cameras record for as long as six months, which is the time period in which someone must file a notice of a law suit against the town for any kind of liability complaint. Having the video footage could help the town prosecute crime as well as defend itself against any liability issues, Rogers said.
“I don’t believe there is a legitimate expectation of privacy when you’re walking down the street,” Rogers said. “We have crime in Vail. This is not the little town we were 20 years ago when I first came here where everybody knows everybody and nobody locks their doors.”
The cameras that will now record include a west-facing camera at Hanson Ranch Road, a west-facing camera at Seibert Circle, a north-facing camera on Bridge Street, a west-facing camera at Kendall Park behind the Mill Creek building, an east-facing camera at Checkpoint Charlie and an east-to-west facing camera at Solaris.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.