If you’ve ever taken a stroll around Central Park in New York City you’ve more than likely seen several people sitting out on the lawn tuning out the activities around them as they type away on their laptops. They’re laying back browsing the web, checking the latest Facebook statuses or even working away from the office, enjoying the convenience of the Internet without any tangly wires in the way thanks to NYC’s free wireless Internet service in the park.
Now West Point city officials want to give residents and visitors the same sort of experience.
In only a couple of months, wireless Internet service as well as cameras will be installed in Sally Kate Winters Park to allow park patrons to enjoy free wireless Internet in a beautiful outdoor setting while offering them extra protection through surveillance cameras.
West Point Water and Light Superintendent Dwight Prisock said a lot of people in the city have expressed interest in the city offering free Wifi (wireless Internet) in the park, and it will serve as a convenience in several capacities, he said.
“Wifi is something we’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years for people who want to come sit in the park, and we also wanted to do this for Prairie Arts,” Prisock said. “It will be a big help at Prairie Arts. Several cities that have parks, such as Sally Kate Winters, are doing that so people can take their laptops and iPads out into the park and enjoy.”
Camera installation at SKW Park will allow city officials to monitor the property at the park. In the past and in recent months, there have been several incidents of vandalism and other crimes in SKW, and Prisock said the cameras will help deter this type of activity.
“This is to keep everyone safe,” he said. “We want to ultimately have cameras throughout the entire length of Rails to Trails (the walking trails leading to SKW), but this is the first piece.”
The cameras will all be wireless, he said.
Video footage will be available to any department head in the city who may have a need for it.
Prisock said the equipment for the cameras and wireless Internet service is currently being ordered for this $46,000 project, which will be paid through a lease purchase plan.