Article Comment 

Columbus may sue security firm over Riverwalk cameras


Ryan Poe



After realizing some cameras along the Columbus Riverwalk are ineffective at night, officials said the city may sue for a refund. 


Mayor Robert Smith confirmed Tuesday that the issue with security firm Knight Hawk Security had been turned over to city attorney Jeff Turnage for review and possibly litigation. 


"We just want to see where we go now," Smith said. 


City Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong said last week that the city had just found out in July that the resolution of some cameras, which were installed in September 2010, was too low at night to be of any use to police. 


In a statement released Tuesday, Knight Hawk Security representative Karen Johnston said there is "no basis for any refund" because the 12 cameras in the park and along part of the nature trail "operate correctly." 


"The blame for the quality of pictures or videos is being wrongfully shifted to Knight Hawk Security when the cause of the low picture-quality at night results from deficient lighting," she said in the statement. "Knight Hawk Security was not asked to install any lighting, and informed city officials of the need for better lighting prior to installation of the cameras." 


The security firm, Johnston continued, had advised city officials both in writing and by word of mouth before installation that the lighting should be improved. 


"We did this by the letter," she added. 


But last week, city administrative officials said they were under the impression when the cameras were installed that current lighting would be adequate. 


In a weekly department heads meeting Aug. 1, officials said better lighting or better cameras could resolve the issue, but would likely cost more than the city would be willing to spend. 


"We''ll explore our options," Armstrong said Tuesday.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment homer commented at 8/10/2011 7:44:00 PM:

Were any lighting tests completed prior to ordering these camera's? If not someone should be held accountable and not the ex chief. He is a policeman and not a security light expert. Did nighthawk take pictures at night under a security light and advertise how good the pictures were? The ex chief had good intentions putting the camera's up to protect the citizens walking the riverwalk but the company should have been more explicit about night vision problems with the lighting prior to installation. Any and all problems with night lighting or night vision should have been identified and corrected prior to installation.


Article Comment kj commented at 8/10/2011 9:02:00 PM:

Hmmm...she said he said. Who's more credible?

On the one hand someone either has documentation to back up their assertion or they don't. On the other hand, cameras were there for months before the problem was even noticed, which means that they weren't checked after they were installed which implies a certain carefree attitude about the whole process.


Article Comment frank commented at 8/11/2011 10:21:00 AM:

"The security firm, Johnston continued, had advised city officials both in writing and by word of mouth before installation that the lighting should be improved."

Sounds like the city has no case unless they first improve the lighting as specified. If the cameras don't perform after the lighting improvements, then and only then does the complaint have merit.


Article Comment johndeeregreen commented at 8/11/2011 6:15:00 PM:

First thing: If the company indeed has their documentation, this should serve as a nail in the credibility coffin of the stooges....

Secondly: IF NO ONE CHECKED BEFORE NOW, WHO'S FAULT IS IT? You should not be able to sue if you aren't smart. Enough to follow through with the obvious things. Wasn't this system bought because of vandalism that (I believe) occurred at night? You know, when he Mayor ordered "whatever it costs?" Gilie (sp) suits and etc.?
Really? You havent checked it before now? Even if they didn't tell you, you are obligated TO MAKE SURE IT WORKS....
Gonna sue....really? Because you are in capable?


Article Comment maddawg commented at 8/11/2011 10:39:00 PM:

Once there was a complete nut... Then, we elected a few more. A great city in search of a solution to a secutity problem prepares a bid document that states precisley what is expected for the dollars to be spent. This document contains all the expected performance requirements from the successful bidder upon turning the purchased product over to the city. I just bet we would all be amazed at what that bid document really consisted of, if , in fact, one ever existed in the first place. Really...


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