Berlin Installs Security Cameras

Berlin Installs Security Cameras
The view from the camera at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Main Street. Submitted image.

BERLIN– Law enforcement now has the assistance of cameras in downtown Berlin.

Police Chief Arnold Downing this week announced that 10 cameras are now in place in the downtown area. They’re expected to enhance the abilities of police to respond to local issues.

“As a police department we know we won’t be able to enforce everything ourselves as men and women of the department,” he said. “The force multiplier is technology.”

Last year, the town received a $76,300 Community Safety Works Business District Grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The funding was used to purchase modular vehicle barriers to be used during special events as well as security cameras.

The fisheye cameras have been placed on utility poles in the downtown area. Locations include Jefferson and Gay streets, Broad Street, Jefferson and Main streets, William Street, Commerce Street and South Main Street. The other cameras cover parking areas, such as those on William Street, Pitts Street, North Main Street and even the parking lot behind Sisters. Downing pointed out the town already had cameras at Henry Park, the 500 block of Bay Street and Decatur Street.

Downing said the new cameras, which can be moved or adjusted as needed, just went live Monday and the best vantage points and locations for each camera are still being reviewed. He added that the camera feeds are not available to the public now but acknowledged that possibility would be explored moving forward.

He expects the cameras to prove helpful during investigations, as police in the past have struggled to compile video from various businesses’ cameras.

“If we have an actual accident, violation of law, and we’re looking for a certain vehicle or person we’ll be able to type in color and we’ll be able to see every blue car that went by,” Downing said. “We’ll be able to see everybody wearing a black shirt. We’ll be able to pull those from the different cameras.”

He added that the South Main Street camera would also be able to read license plates so that if something occurred, police could check after the fact if a certain vehicle had passed by.


The view from the camera at the North Main Street parking lot. Submitted image.

Another almost $50,000 grant is expected to soon fund a license plate reader for Route 113. Downing said two license plate readers, one for each direction, would be placed on Route 113 in front of the police station.

He said that would be helpful when there were situations like Amber Alerts or when neighboring agencies were looking for a particular vehicle.

Mayor Zack Tyndall thanked the Department of Housing and Community Development for the funding, as it had enabled both the installation of the cameras and the purchase of the modular vehicle barriers.

“We are very appreciative of their support,” he said.

Downing said his department is also working with the company that installs speed cameras and will soon be assessing potential locations for those.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.