Greenlawn Cemetery to be monitored after vandalism acts
In response to two vandalism sprees last winter at Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth City Council on Monday agreed to spend $18,000 for security cameras and equipment for the city-owned cemetery.
City Council President Howard Baughman said the cameras could be installed within the next month.
“We know that it's a necessary thing there,” he said. “We've already improved the lighting and there's no reason to wait. We'll put the cameras up, so if anything happens, we have a record.”
The city will erect signs in the cemetery warning of the new security system once it's in place.
“This may deter events in the future and hopefully it will catch some (vandals),” Councilman Bob Mollette said.
City Service Director Chris Murphy said the camera system will include stationary cameras and those that pan a wide area.
“With the cameras and the additional lighting, I feel we've significantly improved our security,” he said. “But nothing is ever foolproof.”
So what if someone tries to steal the cameras?
“Well, hopefully we'll get a picture,” Baughman said.
The cameras will record their images to a computer, so they can be reviewed at any time.
The $18,000 comes from the cemetery trust fund. Baughman said the money will be well-spent.
“It's a beautiful place and it needs to be protected,” he said. “It's time to move.”
Baughman said he wonders why someone would want to vandalize the cemetery in the first place.
“It's a place where families have their loved ones, and they can go have time with the memory of their loved ones,” he said. “So why would you want to destroy, to defame anything that has to do with Greenlawn Cemetery? There is no reason anyone should go in there and destroy family memories. It's despicable.”
In other business, City Council passed ordinances: