Fitchburg mayor eyes camera upgrade at police HQ after break-in
By Katina Caraganis , kcaraganis@sentinelandenterpri se.com
Posted: 03/19/2013 06:32:14 AM EDT
FITCHBURG -- Mayor Lisa Wong is looking to upgrade the video-surveillance camera system at the city's police station after the building was burglarized last month.
Wong said Monday afternoon that she and police officers are working together to find the best option that will work for the station.
Sgt. Glenn Fossa said upgrades to the system could cost anywhere from $300 to $300,000.
"It's really hard to say for sure right now how much this would cost," Fossa said. "There is a system in place, obviously, so whatever work was done, it's just adding on to what we already have."
The Police Department has increased security twice over the past few years, first adding doors and locks when the new community room was announced, and again after the arrest of a local woman found in the hallway at the police station over a year ago, according to Fossa.
On Feb. 26, just before 3:30 a.m., a suspect broke the window of an exterior security door and entered the hallway on the first floor. The break was discovered at 3:34 a.m., when dispatch received a phone call from a neighbor who saw the broken window.
A vest, an overcoat and a replica of a police motorcycle in a glass display case were taken during the break, Fossa said.
City Councilor Dean Tran said he is pleased to see the police are taking the necessary steps to ensure that nothing like this happens again.
"I'm glad we're making updates to our surveillance and that we've learned
from our mistakes or negligence, as criminals are more brazen nowadays," Tran said. "Any time we talk about security and public safety, we have to make the investment and find the funds, and I do believe we have the means to do so."
Tran said he is "very concerned" that police have not made an arrest in connection to the break-in.
"The police building has to lead by example, that is, providing the proper security to its building," he said. "If we can't protect the police station, how do the people of Fitchburg expect us to protect them? Furthermore, I have confidence in our police officers to make progress in this situation."
City Councilor Joel Kaddy said he has faith in the officers conducting the investigation.
"I think it's time to figure it out and get whoever did it off the streets," he said. "It's just an unusual circumstance, and I'm sure they'll get it figured out."
Fossa said detectives are still poring through evidence and surveillance footage. He said they hope to make an arrest soon.
"We're definitely out in front of this," he said. "Although we do have some witnesses that have come forward, we do encourage folks to engage with their local police department regardless of what the information may be. Right now, we're looking at all the possibilities, but witnesses statements seem to point that the suspect fled the scene on foot."
Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.
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