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Garden of the Gods crime deterrent? Video surveillance trial underway

Posted at 8:30 AM, Oct 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-12 10:41:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Garden of the Gods is a must-see for visitors and a treasure for Coloradan residents.

“I think it's an amazing thing,” Rachel Finigan said.

She lives a short distance from the park.

Leaving one trail to cross the road to another there is a new sight—a mobile surveillance system with cameras on mast.

The Los Angeles native who is vigilant about personal safety and security, paused when asked about whether it interrupts the beauty of the park.

"I would say, you know, kind of with a balance of everything. Like I wouldn't want to see that in every view of the trails. But if it's necessary, because people are being hurt or are threatened, then I would say it could be a help,” Finigan said.

Matt Mayberry with Colorado Springs Parks and Cultural Services explained that the mobile surveillance systems are currently a test.

“We want visitors when they come to the Garden [of the Gods], to have a great experience. To not only be safe, but to feel secure when they're visiting.”

Manager with Colorado Springs Parks and Cultural Services agree with the idea of finding a balance.

Garden of the Gods attracts millions of visitors each year and numbers keep rising.

Sadly, lots of parked cars with people out on trails attracts criminals.

“We feel that the incidence of what we call smash and grabs, break a window, try to get whatever is in the front seat, are on the rise,” Mayberry said.

Video surveillance in parking lots is the heart of where criminal activity happens most.

The systems are also mobile, so if there is an area of the park where disturbances or crimes show a rise, the system can be moved to that location.

“We're testing to see, you know, can we tell are they effective? Do they help you to prevent or solve crimes when they happen? And if that's the case, is this a solution that we can use moving forward?” Mayberry said.

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