Courtesy Griffon Systems, INC.

Riverside trustees on Nov. 17 approved spending nearly $70,000 to expand its closed-circuit surveillance camera network, waiving competitive bidding to award a contract to Griffon Systems to install 26 cameras at four locations, including village facilities and critical water-system infrastructure.

Griffon Systems is the vendor for surveillance cameras the village began purchasing in phases in 2019. With the installation of the new cameras, the village of Riverside will have 49 security cameras in place in the downtown, near government facilities, at key entry and exit routes for vehicles and in other high-traffic areas.

Riverside Township trustees recently purchased 18 security cameras, also through Griffon Systems, which will provide surveillance inside and outside the township hall and grounds.

About $42,000 of the total cost is coming from capital funds set aside for the police department in the 2022 budget for the cameras. The rest is being split between the Riverside Department of Parks and Recreation and the village’s water/sewer fund because of where some of the new cameras will be located.

The expense is also being defrayed by an $18,000 grant awarded to the village in 2016, but never used, to install security cameras at the train station. Since several of the cameras being installed will cover the train right of way, the grant money can be used for this project, said Riverside Finance Director Karin Johns.

Four cameras will be installed at the new recreation headquarters at 43 E. Quincy St. while five will be mounted at the water pumping station on 26th Street, which the village operates in partnership with North Riverside.

Five cameras will be installed at Fire Station 2, which is located at 59 Pine Ave. and the water system facility next door at 63 Pine Ave., while 13 others will be installed at the main fire station/police department complex at 31 Riverside Road.

None of the new cameras is a license plate reader type device, although the village does have a handful of such cameras installed at key locations, including the downtown train station, in front of the township hall, at Harlem Avenue/East Quincy Street and at First Avenue/Ridgewood Road.

Those license plate readers are part of Riverside’s closed system and are not connected to a larger system, such as Flock Safety, which allows police and even private entities to share data.

The cameras being purchased in this latest phase are high-definition models providing 270-degree coverage of specific areas. The cameras also have the capability of effectively obtaining video in low-light conditions.

Public Safety Director Matthew Buckley said there’s no firm date on when the new cameras will be delivered and installed.

“It all depends on product supply,” he said.

Riverside trustees are expected to approve a further expansion of the surveillance camera initiative for 2023. A $30,000 line item has been included in next year’s preliminary budget, which is expected to be approved by trustees on Dec. 1.

According to Buckley, those cameras will likely be placed at other high-traffic exit/entry locations in Riverside as well as at other key village locations, such as the public works facility in Riverside Lawn, where camera coverage is lacking.