City ready to place cameras in three parks

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The city plans to keep an eye on sex criminals by placing new surveillance cameras in parks that are popular spots for deviant behavior.

Metro Council members said Nashville would be among the first cities to implement such a policy.

The city hopes the tactic will keep sex criminals away for good. The Metro Council will spend $20,000 installing cameras in Cedar Hill Park, Two Rivers Park and Hamilton Creek Park.

Metro Councilman Michael Craddock said surveillance cameras will soon be installed in parks like Hamilton Creek which have long been popular spots for men looking for sex.

"It’s hard to go to into that park without seeing something you’re not supposed to see," Craddock said.

Travis West and other bikers have seen the problem first hand.

"They’re just right in the woods…doing their thing," West said. "A few of my friends, and myself, we’ve been approached, and it’s extremely uncomfortable."

Craddock hopes the people who choose to expose themselves in public will decide not to if they know they’re being filmed.

"I think the deviance will go somewhere else," Craddock said.

The hope is that Metro Parks can stay a place where nature and the bike trails are at their best, and no longer a place where people choose to act their worst.

The cameras will go up in the three selected parks sometime in the next 90 days. If they are effective, Craddock said he expects all Metro Parks to be equipped with the cameras in the future.

Craddock said the cameras would transmit information through cell phones. Park police will also be able to control and monitor the cameras from a laptop computer.