ST. ANN, MO. - We see them on street posts and inside restaurants and stores. And really, they see us, too. But some people are saying enough with the cameras when it comes to a popular park in St. Ann.
It's a controversial plan dividing city leaders and residents.
Mayor Michael Corcoran said St. Ann Parks and Recreation has requested cameras for years. Now that there's money for them to be purchased and installed, some people are worried about their privacy at Tiemeyer Park. The city wants to put as many as 40 security cameras there.
Caroline Cain said she loves taking her daughter to the park. She said they feel safe there, which is why Cain doesn't understand why the city wants to install the cameras.
"If it's 40, that's way too much," she said. "They probably need like maybe like five."
Carol Zakrzewski, who visits the park with her grandchildren, said she doesn't think they're necessary.
"I've lived here for 39 years and I've never heard of a murder in the park," she said. "Never anybody being beaten and robbed."
Mayor Corcoran explained.
"We've had vandalism on and off for several years," he said. "We've had a pavilion burned down. We've had bathrooms vandalized, we've had roofs ripped off, we've had picnic tables thrown in the pond. It's kids being kids, you know, unfortunate."
The city plans to make $2 million worth of renovations in the park, including LED lighting.
"There are parts of this park that are very dimly lit," Zakrzewski said.
Corcoran said the cameras, which would cost $250,000, could help protect those investments. He said knowing they're there could stop someone from committing a crime.
"I understand it's intrusive to have all these cameras," he said. "I've been told that you have to get every angle on them to get proper coverage so it requires that many if you're going to do it."
However, Corcoran said, St. Ann police won't monitor them 24/7. They'll check when a crime is reported.
"We've never noticed anything bad here but it doesn't hurt to be safe," Erin Spencer, a parent, said.
The city will listen to feedback from the public at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at St. Ann City Hall.
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