Gulf Shores looks to increase its beach camera coverage - FOX10 News | WALA

Gulf Shores looks to increase its beach camera coverage

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GULF SHORES, AL (WALA) -

The official start of summer is still a few weeks away, but already the beaches are starting to fill up in Gulf Shores.

A big part of keeping people safe is being able to have eyes on the area to monitor the beach area. Because the cameras currently eying beach goers are about six years old, the city said it's time for an upgrade.

“We like to be the flagship of technology for the State of Alabama. So keeping current and changing with the times. Technology changes every day and if you don't stay one step ahead of it, you're two steps behind,” Mike Hawley, information technology officer for the city, said.

In order to stay ahead, the city is looking to take down the 13 cameras around the public beach and replace them with 25 new high definition cameras at the cost of $49,420.20.

Two of the new cameras will have the ability to move and zoom. It's something that can't be done right now.

“The HD cameras that we're looking to get will have that option, which I think will enhance public safety and everything that goes on at the beach,” Hawley said.

Hawley said the ones in use won't be retired immediately. Rather they will be moved to places like the sportsplex, which don't have cameras.

“Utilizing the cameras that are in place at Gulf Place now, taking them down and using them in other areas I think will be a really good resource and money savings as well for us,” Hawley said.

Folks along the beach said they think adding newer and better cameras would be a big help.

“The police department is doing all they can do, but there are only so many of them. So the cameras, I think, would definitely help,” Gulf Shores resident Kim Kollek said.

If approved, money for the cameras would come out of the city's general fund. The city is hoping to have them installed by the end of July.


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