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Put LP surveillance cam on the Web

January 10, 2011
Lake Placid News
To the editor:

Please let me help with your surveillance camera issue. I’m a fan of Lake Placid with some experience that might help.

While I’m not fond of the overall concept of surveillance cameras, I recognize that they’re there. Whether the one on Main Street can deter crime remains an open question. But step back with me to an earlier Internet, when there was a remotely-operated Web camera on top of the Hotel Marcy. It provided still shots and could be directed from any online computer. When I couldn’t be in Lake Placid, I could get great views of Main Street, zoom in on Mirror Lake, watch the snow fall in front of the Palace Theater — all from the comfort of my Connecticut Home. 

Any time of the night or day, when the whim arose, I could get a good look at Lake Placid. Check out the pedestrian and vehicular traffic. See the bars. Unfortunately for me, when the hotel changed hands, the Web cam (and the one from the bar, which never worked properly) disappeared.

I’m proposing that Lake Placid not only publicize the location of its new surveillance camera (and, perhaps, use one that looks more like a camera), but that it make the camera’s feed available to all via the Web. This would serve multiple purposes for the town. 

Obviously, more people, local and otherwise, would be watching Lake Placid and even helping with its surveillance. It wouldn’t be just the police watching when they had the time. If I tuned in at 3 a.m. from Connecticut and saw a crime being committed, I’d call the Lake Placid police. Run their telephone number unobtrusively in the corner of the video frame. Substitute a Web-controlled video camera from the one that’s there, with a police override for emergencies. 

If the public can change the view, a lot of Lake Placid can be viewed. The video feed would also increase general interest in the town and what it has to offer, especially if it were tied into a public relations campaign about it. Do an occasional live video, publicized in advance through a variety of media, using the same Web network. Be funny. There are many possibilities.

Of course, my true motive here is a selfish one. As I said, I’m a fan of Lake Placid. I’d like to be able to see it from here again.

Michael Schwarzchild

New Milford, Conn.


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