Security cameras vex Housing Auth.

The Warren County Housing Authority has been experiencing what Executive Director Tonya Mitchell-Weston referred to as a ‘camera system nightmare.’

At Wednesday’s meeting of the authority’s board of directors, Mitchell-Weston said for nearly a year, the security camera system at River View Terrace has been a constant source of problems, requiring constant maintenance from a company that was contracted by ADT/Tyco to install the cameras.

“We paid for the system, comprised of 21 cameras, which took forever to be installed,” said Mitchell-Weston. “From the day they were installed, we’ve had problems with them all working at the same time. I think only twice since they were installed have they all worked at the same time and that was only for about a week.”

According to Mitchell-Weston, the lack of properly functioning cameras sacrifices the safety and security that a fully operational system would provide.

“If there’s an incident on the property, we can have it on tape for the authorities,” she added. “If the cameras aren’t working, there’s no evidence from our perspective, so it’s a major safety and security issue.”

To make matters worse, resistance and complications stemming from Tyco have made resolving the issue even harder.

“We withheld, I withheld, the 5 percent retainer because we have a non-working system,” said Mitchell-Weston. “The person I was working with, Brian Winters (of Tyco), was under the assumption that we had not paid at all. After confirming that we had indeed paid, he said from this point forward they are washing their hands and will not be responding to service calls.”

She said several emails were exchanged between the authority and Winters in an effort to resolve the matter. Mitchell-Weston added that the company finally offered to repair the system, but only after the final 5 percent is paid.

The authority has reached out for advice from Pittsburgh-based attorney Elizabeth Rabenold.

Despite the nature of ongoing negotiations, Mitchell-Weston said she is confident that they will be able to reach an acceptable resolution with the company.