Beach lifeguard who set up hidden cameras worked at Westport YMCA

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WESTPORT - On Monday, Michael Collins, 29, of Westport, turned himself in at the Westport Police Department after learning that there was an active warrant for his arrest.

The arrest stems from a lengthy investigation into allegations that Collins, a lifeguard at the time, had placed cameras in a shared employee workplace.

Police said that on Friday, August 14, Westport Parks and Recreation contacted them to report that two cameras were found inside the lifeguard shack at Burying Hill Beach in Westport.  Police said the hidden cameras were installed in an area strictly used by employees to relax during breaks, and change clothes.

Police said the cameras were placed inside the room by Collins and were set up to record other people without their knowledge or consent and under circumstances where they had an expectation of privacy.

That night, police executed a search and seizure warrant at Collins’ residence in Westport and recovered sunglasses with cameras in them, laptop computers, DVD’s, thumb drives, and various other electronic and surveillance items.

The electronic devices were forensically examined and found to have an extensive collection of both video and photographic images. Additionally, the forensic examination revealed images of child pornography. Police also say they don`t believe any local children were victimized.

Collins was charged with 431 counts of voyeurism and eavesdropping, and third-degree possession of child pornography.

Collins posted $75,000 bond and was issued a court date of Thursday, January 7, at Norwalk Court.

Collins also worked off and on at the Westport-Weston YMCA. Officials there wouldn`t say much, but they did say parents shouldn't worry,

Senior program director Jay Jaronko said Collins was there for about three years and left on his own in May of 2014.

"He was never responsible for small groups of children. His role here was only as a lifeguard," said Jaronko. ""This was not something we expected."

Police said they`re not aware of Collins having any prior arrest and that he's been cooperative throughout the investigation.