Downtown to get cameras

Safety grant to pay for security updates

Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa talks about security cameras that will be installed soon on light poles on Harmon Avenue NW to monitor the area around the Trumbull County administration building. The cameras are being partially paid for with a $200,000 grant that the county is splitting with Warren. Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple

WARREN — When the Trumbull County treasurer’s truck was stolen from the county administration building parking lot in December 2016, other county officials started looking into providing more security for the Harmon Avenue NW lot.

Soon, after Trumbull County grants manager Julie Green secured a $200,000 Local Government Safety Grant to split with Warren, nine cameras on three fixed poles will monitor the lot.

Treasurer Sam Lamancusa’s light green 1994 Ford F-150 was stolen from the lot and found abandoned about a block away, he said. But the incident got Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins thinking.

“We thought there should be some security for people visiting the courthouse and the businesses downtown, and for the county employees, elected officials and any person visiting the county administration building,” Watkins said. “That is a beautiful area and there are a lot of events there. We want the cameras situated to record in the event something happens.”

Watkins said the cameras also will serve as a deterrent, and he expects signs will be erected to make someone think twice about committing a crime in the area around the parking lot and administrative building at 160 High St. NW.

“The large majority of people here are law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately, there are others out there who don’t respect others’ rights,” Watkins said. “We want anyone up to no good to know, we see you.”

Trumbull County commissioners on Thursday awarded a $150,042 bid to VEC of Girard to install the poles and extend cables to connect the nine cameras to the county’s other systems. About $99,000 will be paid with the grant, while the remaining balance will be paid with $10,000 from Watkins’ office and about $40,000 from the county’s safety improvement fund.

Warren’s portion of the grant is funding cameras in the 24-block area of downtown bordered by the Mahoning River to the west, Chestnut Avenue and Niles Road on the east, South Street to the south and Washington Street to the north. Cyclops Technology Group is doing the work for the city and is also placing call boxes in the same area.

Mauro Cantalamessa, county commissioner, said the cameras will serve as another tool for law enforcement and praised Green for collaborating with Warren for the grant money.

“This joint grant is a great example of collaboration between the city of Warren and the county. We all recognize the importance of keeping downtown safe for citizens and businesses,” Cantalamessa said.

Green said the county’s cameras should be installed soon.

“At the very latest, I would think, by the end of October,” Green said.

Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the cameras in Warren should be received and ready for installation in about 30 days.

The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office and Warren police will monitor and have access to the footage, Watkins said.

The county put the project out to bid previously, but received no valid bids in the first round, Green said.