Homeowners in S.C. Beach Community Cover Cost for Video Surveillance System

Residents wanted the cameras installed after multiple break-ins during the winter months.

LITCHFIELD BEACH, S.C. – Residents in this coastal community have organized an effort to foot the bill to research, fund and install a network of video surveillance cameras with a goal to record everyone coming into the community in order to crack down on crime.

The crime-fighting endeavor was spearheaded by an area homeowners association after multiple break-ins during the winter months. Residents sought to deploy similar security measures enacted in nearby Pawleys Island, where police recently installed license plate readers on the causeways and surveillance cameras at beach access points.

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The Property Owners Association (POA) in Litchfield Beach chose strategic locations for the cameras, putting them on the entrance roads leading into the community, reports WMBF-TV, an NBC affiliate. City funds are not being used to help cover the cost of the system.

The surveillance system will catch criminals on camera, but POA President Ladd Dezendorf tells WMBF-TV he hopes more than anything, it will keep people from committing crime in the first place.

“Since its been successful on Pawleys Island, having the cameras as a deterrent, they’ve only had one break-in, we’re hoping the same thing for here,” Dezendorf said.

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Dezendorf sent out a survey to people living in the area and said the majority support the surveillance system. The device records footage that is only accessible by the camera company at the request of law enforcement agencies.

“They will open the camera box, they will take the portion of the video the law enforcement needs, and they look at it. We never get to look at it,” Dezendorf said.

In addition, he urges residents to install cameras on their individual properties. Especially since the community is comprised of vacation rentals which are empty during the off-season.

“For rental homes when people are gone a month or two in the winter, what good does it do if you have a license plate camera or any other type of cameras in the community? They’re not going to look at sixty days of film,” he explained.

He said many camera systems will automatically notify homeowners of unusual activity.

“They get a notification, they call the sheriff’s department, the sheriff gets video from these cameras, they know about it right away and can go after these people,” said Dezendorf.

The surveillance systems are located on Boyle Drive, Trace Drive and Litchfield Beach Life and include four cameras on each unit. They capture high definition images, in order to enhance clarity even further, the POA plans to add a light on the system by Boyle Drive for better nighttime footage.

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