When you take your child to any of Hartford’s four city pools, you’ll now have an extra set of eyes.
Surveillance cameras have been installed at the pools. The hope is to help combat another problem officers see throughout the summer months. The problem is kids are sneaking in after hours, jumping the fence and getting into the pools.
But what the surveillance cameras really hope to prevent is a drowning while no one is watching.
Surveillance video of teens sneaking into Pope Park pool in Hartford after-hours shows a group somehow getting inside the pool area and jumping in the water.
It’s something Shanchia Gabriel has seen for herself.
“A bunch of kids in the pool and it was after hours and there was no one here and I’m like who do you call with a situation like that,” said Gabriel.
The answer? Police. In fact, police are getting calls about a dozen times a week about incidents like this.
“That is the definitely that’s just kids having fun – at the same time at this very pool about 10 years ago, we did have a drowning of a 12-year-old so it was very sad for the entire city, for the entire community was impacted by it,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.
Police don’t want that to ever happen again.
So now, Hartford’s four public pools – at Goodwin, Keeney, Colt and Pope Park – are equipped with surveillance cameras, installed last week. If anyone trespasses, it automatically alerts the dispatch center.
“It’s a silent alarm,” Foley explained. “So the dispatchers when they hear an alarm, if they want to, they can actually look at the pools themselves and let the officers who are arriving know what’s going on.”
For Gabriel, the hope is the new surveillance camera system will prevent an accident.
“I would hate to get the phone call that you know your child has drowned and there’s nothing that could’ve been done,” said Gabriel.
And there are about four to five cameras installed at each of the city’s pools.