This state-of-the-art camera is one of several installed by the conservancy.

Add the Chastain Park Conservancy to the growing list of customers for camera surveillance companies.

The conservancy has hired Va.-based contractor M.C. Dean, Inc. to install five state-of-the-art wireless cameras in and around Chastain Park. The cameras will feed into the city of Atlanta’s Video Integration Center.

The conservancy, one of several groups affiliated with the park, watches over the park’s natural resources and oversees development and implementation of the city’s 20-year plan for Chastain.

Gip Johnston, the conservancy’s executive director, said the cameras will cost around $50,000.

“We rarely have crime in the park anymore,” Johnston said. “The cameras are going to be a huge addition to make the park even safer.”

The contractor will place the cameras at the Red Lot parking area, the Hilltop Fields, the playground, the Northside Youth Organization entrance and overlooking the Tennis Center.

Mark Erwin, project manager for M.C. Dean, said the cameras will primarily be used to catch criminals after the fact.

“In Chastain’s case it’s more of a forensic type of recording where if an incident occurs they can go back and try to discover some type of evidence,” Erwin said.

Carlos Campos, a spokesman for Atlanta Police, said the cameras will give the department an advantage as it observes activity in the park.

“It’s fair to say it gives us extra eyes and ears in Chastain Park and serves as a force multiplier for Zone 2,” Campos said.

Erwin noted the demand for surveillance continues to grow.

Sandy Springs already has the cameras, installed by Texas-based Iron Sky. The same company is also installing cameras for the Buckhead Community Improvement District.

Residents of Devereaux Commons neighborhood in Brookhaven installed cameras after a series of break-ins.

“I think you’re going to find that the entities like Chastain Park, those kinds of places are going to start coming online,” Erwin said. “I don’t know which area will be next. I do know another community will say, ‘We’d like to have the same thing.’”

Campos said the APD would like to see the cameras become commonplace throughout Atlanta.

“We’re excited to work with all of these communities and private partners,” Campos said. “We continue to develop the video integration center and we hope eventually it’s going to be a huge network.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com