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Downtown Kamloops business association wants surveillance cameras installed

A request for proposals to identify options that will provide KCBIA member businesses “adequate video camera coverage” is open until Sept. 3
surveillance camera

The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) wants to install security cameras in the downtown core.

A request for proposals to identify options that will provide KCBIA member businesses “adequate video camera coverage” is open until Sept. 3, the association announced on Wednesday.

The KCBIA doesn’t know how many businesses will take part in the surveillance camera initiative, but all information provided by the successful bidder will be shared with its membership.

“On behalf of the membership, the KCBIA is seeking to identify organizations prepared to provide estimates for all equipment and labour required to install security camera systems,” stated a KCBIA press release.

The cameras are meant to enhance the safety of downtown businesses and prevent petty crimes like vandalism, stolen bikes, thefts from vehicles, and smash and grabs, said Dino Bernardo, KCBIA board president and co-owner of the Commodore Grand Cafe.

KCBIA executive director Carl DeSantis said the initiative should deter crime and give business owners a sense of comfort as recordings of untoward activity around their businesses can be passed along to the RCMP, bylaw services or the Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team to address issues.

“What we want to do is make sure that if there’s people who are doing bad things, whether it’s inappropriate or criminal, that there’s an opportunity to hold them accountable,” DeSantis said.

Any business, whether looking to add surveillance cameras or upgrade its existing equipment, is welcome to participate in the initiative, DeSantis said.

The KCBIA is asking bidders to address image quality.

DeSantis said the successful bidder would have the capacity to install cameras with a high image quality, capable of recording in various weather and lighting conditions.

DeSantis said there are no plans to place the cameras on public property.

The winning bidder will be asked to work with participating businesses to address its needs, and each businesses will decide whether to mount the cameras inside or on the outside of their building.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get a quote to figure out what these things are going to cost and it will be up to the individual businesses as to where they want to put them,” Bernardo said.

The KCBIA will not be paying for the cameras, but is hoping participating businesses are given some discount for large volume purchases. 

Further discussion on the initiative will take place at a fall board meeting scheduled for after the Sept. 3 request for proposals deadline, DeSantis said.

There’s no timeline for implementation if the KCBIA decides to pursue one of the bids, he said.

“It’s wait and see. We’ll see what sort of response we have,” he said.

The idea to look at adding cameras came about in response to recent complaints from businesses regarding drug use along Seymour Street, DeSantis said, noting there have also been complaints of people defecating and urinating in alleyways.

Bernardo does not believe cameras will combat more serious crimes like the rash of robberies in the downtown core last winter, but thinks people will be less likely to commit a crime if they know cameras are in the area.

Kathy Sinclair is Kamloops council’s liasion to the KCBIA.

“I think safety is primary right now,” she said. “I mean, it’s always important, but we’ve definitely seen a rash of crime throughout the city, so I think we need to be creative in how we deter those crimes.”

The KCBIA represents approximately 750 businesses and 350 commercial properties in Kamloops’ downtown core.