• St. Augustine police now able to monitor Castillo de San Marcos via security cameras

    By: Deanna Bettineschi , Action News Jax


    If you're walking downtown near the Castillo de San Marcos and look up at the light posts, you’ll see cameras facing multiple directions.

    Chief ranger Kim Mayo, with the National Park Service, said they’ve been up and running for about 30 days.

    “We want to be able to keep our visitors safe that come visit the fort,” Mayo said.

    She said it wouldn’t have been possible without the St. Augustine Police Department and Flagler College.

    Mayo said that they needed the cameras to be operated in a 24-hour dispatch location, so the monitoring system was placed inside the dispatch center of the St. Augustine Police Department.

    “Especially if they have a 911 call to this area, they can look at the cameras and see anything going on in this parking lot,” Mayo said.

    Plus, Flagler College was in the spot between the two and helped get the signal from the fort to the Police Department.

    “Without them allowing us to put the relay system in one of their towers, we wouldn’t have the line of sight,” Mayo said.

    Earlier this year, Action News Jax reported on a series of downtown robberies.

    Three happened in the area where people often walk, including on the busy St. George Street, where the victim was hit in the back of the head.

    There was another instance where three teens at Castillo de San Marcos were robbed at gunpoint.
    Tourists we spoke with said the cameras are a great addition to keep the city safe.

    “I think it’s a good idea. Any place you have this many people wandering around, (you have) to protect them,” tourist Rick Schwartz said.

    St. Augustine police said that they will be adding five cameras downtown in the near future and will eventually plan on expanding it to neighbors and businesses.

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