Hartford mayor seeks review of security maintenance after teen drowns

HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has directed city staff to develop and implement policies concerning the maintenance of city-owned and city-operated security system following the death of a 16-year-old Connecticut boy who drowned after swimming illegally after hours in a city pool.

Bronin called for the review after meeting with various city departments to assess the status and maintenance of cameras and other security systems.

Authorities say the public pool where the boy drowned had a video surveillance system meant to detect trespassers, but it was broken.

While the city has made a point of installing security systems to improve public safety, Bonin says there has not been a strong set of policies and procedures for identifying, prioritizing and addressing breakdowns in those systems in a timely manner.

Bronin released the followings statement:

“Over the last two days, since the tragic drowning of a young man in a Keney Park pool, we’ve looked closely at our camera and security system maintenance practices,” said Mayor Bronin.  “What’s clear is that, as we’ve put cameras and other security systems in place to improve public safety, including at our pools, we have not had a strong set of policies and procedures for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing breakdowns in those systems in a timely way.  As a result, there has also not been a clear understanding of who should be notified, who is responsible for performing city-wide security system maintenance, and what steps must be taken when those systems are down at public facilities.  That will change, and I’ve asked our interim Chief Operating Officer, Ron Van Winkle, to take the lead on putting a set of city-wide policies and procedures in place.

“It is important to say again that the camera and motion detector system at our pools was installed for the first time last year as an extra layer of protection, and that before last summer, pools opened every year without such systems in place.  But while our use of cameras and other technology to improve public safety is a work in progress, and while our infrastructure is imperfect, we need to do everything we can to build multiple safeguards, and to identify and respond quickly when any of those safeguards fail – particularly at public facilities like our pools.”