News - Kane County

St. Charles approves installation of more security cameras to reduce problems at 1st Street parking garage

The St. Charles City Council on Monday approved a plan to install more security cameras in the city’s First Street parking garage to deter problems such as drag racing and vandalism.

Alderpersons unanimously recommended approval of a resolution to waive the formal bid procedure and award the purchase of additional cameras for the west parking deck to Griffon Systems in the amount of $91,720.

“These cameras are inherently related to, and an ongoing part of, other cameras provided by Griffon Systems,” St. Charles Police Deputy Chief Chuck Pierce previously had told alderpersons.

The installation of the new cameras is expected to start by the end of June, Pierce said. The city’s general fund will be used to purchase the additional cameras, but future assessments to the special service area tax can be collected to offset the cost, he said.

Pierce previously talked to alderpersons about the need for the additional cameras.

“These cameras would be additions to the existing closed-circuit camera system in the west side parking deck,” he said. “Additional cameras were discussed that would be added to the same system, which will increase the camera coverage of the west side plaza area, east side bar district and Main Street.”

In November, a resident living near the parking garage complained to alderpersons about problems at the parking garage, including drag racing, which he had witnessed.

“This isn’t a new problem that has come about nor is it a problem that the St. Charles Police Department has ignored,” Pierce previously had told alderpersons. “We have installed cameras on the fifth floor and we’ve increased patrols and enforcement action. In fact, the cameras and the uptick in patrols kind of pushed everybody down to the fourth floor and that really was what the resident was talking about. The problem went to the fourth floor and he was asking for a speed bump on the fourth floor.”

Pierce advised against installing speed bumps because of the potential physical impact on the parking garage in the long run.

“The speed bump could be a short-term fix,” Pierce said. “What’s the cost going to be down the road? What damage is going to happen in future years?”

Pierce said the cameras will help identify people who are committing criminal acts. St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan said the additional cameras will act as a deterrent.