Barrett Seeks Review of Police Request for $10K Camera for Nichols Street

Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett. (WHAV News Photo by Jay Saulnier)

Councilors on Tuesday will consider a request from police Chief Alan R. DeNaro for money to buy a surveillance camera to be installed on Nichols Street.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini first requested $9,950 for the camera last week, but on the request of Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, the board delayed consideration for a week.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Barrett said she has concerns about the process the city is using to buy the cameras and wants more information.

The issue will be discussed when the council meets beginning at 7 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

DeNaro’s request to the council notes shootings and gang activity for the need for increased surveillance in the Acre neighborhood, specifically at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Nichols Street.

“As you know, our camera program has been instrumental in identifying and providing evidence for many prosecutions over the past few years,” DeNaro said. “I am confident this camera will go a long way toward providing stability for the neighborhood.”

At a recent meeting of the council’s Citizen Outreach subcommittee, Haverhill resident Gary Ortiz asked whether the city could implement a program similar to one in Washington, D.C., in which homeowners are given subsidies to help them buy safety cameras and security systems for their homes.

He also asked about using Community Development Block Grant money for police, firefighters and other city employees to buy and rehabilitate homes in the inner-city Acre neighborhood.

The subcommittee, chaired by Barrett, approved a motion to request that the mayor look into CDBG money for cameras and tax incentives for first responders and other city workers to live in struggling neighborhoods.