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Salem supports advanced surveillance at state's Park & Ride facilities

SALEM — The town will be supporting a proposed house bill that would allow for more advanced video surveillance at the state’s Park & Ride facilities.

The Park & Ride facilities are owned by the state and managed by Concord Coach Lines, which operates the Boston Express service out of Salem.

There are already video surveillance cameras at the eight facilities in the state, but the bill introduced by state representative Candace Bouchard would allow for increased resolution for the video cameras.

Mark Sanborn, director of government relations for Concord Bus Lines, said the improved surveillance would help make the facilities safer and more secure. Similar high resolution cameras in operation in Maine have also helped assist police departments with drug and kidnapping cases, according to Sanborn.

“These are safe and secure facilities right now, but this is another step we can take to continue to make that a top priority,” said Sanborn.

Earlier this week, Salem selectmen joined the other communities with Park & Ride facilities, including Nashua, Londonderry, Portsmouth and Dover in sending a letter in support of the house bill by a 3-2 vote.

Selectmen Stephen Campbell and James Keller voted against sending a letter in support of the house bill.

Campbell said the bill raised issues concerning privacy, and noted that under the state’s Right to Know law, anyone from the public could put in a request for copies of the surveillance. Campbell said he has enough concerns with the government having access to the surveillance without adding the public into the mix.

Campbell also said he would like to hear the other side of the debate if he were to consider a letter in support of the bill.

“Without hearing the other side, I have enough concerns of my own,” he said.

Selectmen Chairman Everett McBride said he supported the house bill.

“I want to protect the public to the extent that is humanly possible, and this is a public transportation center,” he said.

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