Mayor Curt Balzano Leng said the town and the Hamden Police Department are becoming closer to installing at least three new surveillance cameras in the areas where the trail intersects with Alling Street and with Dudley Street, not far from Dixwell Avenue.
“It's primarily to deter any criminal activity or any unsavory activity that might occur," said Leng.
Police Chief Thomas Wydra told NBC Connecticut that no single event prompted plans for new cameras, though there have been issues with violence and gunfire on the canal trail in the past. Also, in August 2015, police said a man exposed himself to a 70-year-old woman who was walking along the trail.
Some frequent canal trail users, such as Yolanda Alica, welcomes the idea of having surveillance cameras.
“It’s great. I would love it," she Alica. "That would make me want to come back more often.”
Other trail visitors wonder if cameras in such a public place would be such a great idea.
“Too many cameras in our lives are probably not going to be a good thing," Marta Dabis, who was riding her bicycle through Hamden from her home in New Haven.
Mayor Leng said the approximately $20,000 needed for the new cameras, as well as a new emergency call box, has already been secured. The town legislative council is expected to approve the police department's plans. The new cameras could be up and running by next month, said the mayor.
Leng said the town and the police force are aware of the delicate balance between privacy and public safety.
“If you’re in a public space trying to do something that’s not legal or is highly inappropriate, you should think twice about doing that because it’s possibly going to be on camera," said Leng.