New Port Richey may add security cameras
NEW PORT RICHEY - New Port Richey officials are talking about adding more security cameras around the city in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Councilman Bill Phillips brought up the topic of expanding surveillance this week. The city added security cameras at the historic Hacienda hotel earlier this year to deter vandals, Phillips said. Before recent cleanups, vandals had broken windows and defaced the landmark structure at Main and Bank streets. Money from police seizure funds paid for the cameras, roughly $1,200 apiece, Phillips said. The cameras transmit images to the New Port Richey Police Department.Phillips wants to expand the number of surveillance cameras, especially at problem spots along U.S. 19 within the city limits. The cameras could be installed on city property, he said, adding that the devices could be placed on poles that hold red-light cameras. During recent council meetings, Councilman Jeff Starkey has advocated cleaning up nuisance areas in the city. Otherwise, hangouts for criminals or vagrants could undercut the city’s efforts to attract new residents and businesses, he said. Mayor Bob Consalvo has said about half of all his messages from the public concerned crime. City staff members are crafting a proposal for a chronic nuisance ordinance. The city would have to create the post of special magistrate to hear any nuisance complaints, interim City Manager Susan Dillinger said. Phillips asked interim Police Chief Kim Bogart to check into beefing up security in the city.