GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

June 20, 2013

Senior: Security cams needed at Rose Baker

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — With the drop of an eyelash or two, one woman is urging the city to step up security at the Rose Baker Senior Center, despite the immediate area’s reputation as a “safe from crime” zone.

Council on Aging board member Lee Harty is pushing to have outdoor security cameras installed, after an incident in which she said eyelash decals were ripped off her vehicle and left on the ground.

“The little lashes, a pair were torn off. So that’s why I thought we could get a security camera down there,” Harty said.

Harty has been a board member of the Council on Aging, which steers the senior center, for 23 years. Though she too said the area is generally quite safe, her view is that cameras could only improve the security of around the senior center and its parking area. She plans to bring the topic forward for discussion at a future board meeting.

“Something like this doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, it’s very upsetting,” Harty said.

Though Harty believes she can defend herself, she worries about others who may not feel so confident about their self defense.

“I’ve got a cane and I can use it both ways, but I’ve never had to do that,” Harty said.

Police Chief Leonard Campanello said the close proximity between the senior center and the police station, along with an effort to stay in communication, helps police manage concerns from senior center staff.

“We’re in there all the time. Our officers make frequent trips inside to check on the senior center,” Campanello said. “We attend meetings there. We’re in contact with the senior center membership on at least a weekly basis.”

Still, Campanello said he is open to discussing the idea of implementing security cameras.

“If the management team at the senior center would like to have a dialogue about that, I’m certainly willing to entertain their concerns,” Campanello said.

Council on Aging board members indicated that the security camera topic has not been thoroughly discussed by their board, but will likely come up in the future.

Lucy Sheehan, director of the Rose Baker Senior Center, said the center has not seen much crime, but acknowledged that security cameras can always be helpful in busy areas, such as the senior center.

“Is there any great need for it because of things happening? I would say no,” Sheehan said. “But it is a busy spot, and they could be helpful, I’m sure.”

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.