EL mulls security camera upgrade at Grashorn

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – A proposal to install a new surveillance camera system at the Grashorn Municipal Building was tabled by the Village Board Monday.

The $9,600 system would include six cameras that would “have the entire building covered,” Police Chief Michael Meeusen told the Administration and Finance Committee.

The system would include replacing two cameras in the Police Department offi ces and add cameras outside the building to cover the main entrance, the library entrance and other areas, Meeusen said.

“It will provide building security and protection for employees who are in here,” the chief explained. He added that it would also enable his department to do a better job of recording interviews for criminal investigations.

“It’s kind of the norm now that people expect to be on camera when they come here. Most public buildings now have cameras. I’d hate to have our employees not feel safe when they’re working here,” Meeusen said.

But Village President Alan Rudnick expressed concerns about response times for incidents that might be recorded by the cameras.

“I understand that this is a good tool for you to see who’s around the building, but unless somebody is sitting around your offi ce monitoring it, it doesn’t create more safety for our employees,” Rudnick told Meeusen.

“I’m concerned about the safety of our building, but you want us to spend $9,600 and I want to be sure it’s being done for the right reason,” Rudnick concluded.

Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly said the Police Department has $6,000 available in their budget for the system and the rest of the cost could come out of the village’s reserves from the tax incremental finance district one payout last year.

“When you look at the price of this, I think it’s pretty reasonable,” Trustee Steve Kapellen commented.

When Rudnick questioned if there was any rush to purchase the system, the committee agreed to recommend that the board table the issue, which it did.

Rudnick said he would sit down with Meeusen to talk further about the proposed camera system.

The village is in the process of hiring a new police officer.

The committee officially accepted Offi- cer Sean Pringle’s resignation to take a new position outside the village and scheduled a meeting to interview potential replacements.

The board adopted a resolution commending Mark Landgraf for his years of service to the village, including 23 years in the fire department, 16 years as a First Responder and 10 years as emergency management director for the village.

“It’s a well-deserved commendation,” Rudnick noted.

Reilly gave her first annual report to the board and said village officials are investigating creating an historic district in the village. That, she said, could create tax incentives for rehabilitation and renovation of historic buildings.

The board approved a Memorial Day committee including Reilly, Ron Nielsen, Gary Koegler, Randy Suemnicht and Rudnick.

Sheboygan County Circuit Court candidate Catherine Delahunt introduced herself to the board.

Delahunt, who is judge of the Sheboygan/ Kohler Municipal Court, is running in the Feb. 17 primary against Rebecca Persick and Matthew Mooney for the Branch IV seat being vacated by retiring Judge Terence Bourke.

Noting that she has jurisdiction over about half the county’s population as a municipal judge, she touted her knowledge and understanding of the law.

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