Forty-four security cameras are being installed in the downtown Bowling Green parking garage to combat vandalism in the facility.
Last week, the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority approved accepting a $31,000 bid from RMC Products of Smiths Grove for the cameras.
“We have had a rash of vandalism (in the garage). This will eliminate that,” Authority Chairman Doug Gorman said.
The cameras will be Wi-Fi connected, monitored by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and will offer full video coverage of the facility.
RMC is also installing security cameras at the adjacent community kitchen and event center being built at the former Taylor Chapel AME Church and the SoKy Marketplace space behind the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.
Since the five-story garage between Seventh and Eighth avenues opened in 2012, there have been periodic issues with vandalism, such as lights and fire extinguisher boxes being smashed. The concrete barriers on the top floor of the garage are also largely covered with graffiti.
There have also been issues with people – primarily juveniles – getting through barriers and accessing the roof of the building wrapping around the garage, where they ride bikes and skateboards, potentially damaging the roof, officials said.
In 2015, Warren County Fiscal Court approved building a $20,000 security fence on the perimeter of the fifth floor of the parking garage. At the time, Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said the remnants of what looked like a campfire was once found on the roof.
“They could’ve burned the place down,” he said. “They could’ve caused a problem that had the roof cave in on them. They could fall off the edge. They could do most anything.”
In total, the county has spent about $160,000 on security upgrades, Gorman said. New, brighter LED lighting was previously installed throughout the structure, which has parking spots for about 800 vehicles.
Gorman noted that the county invested $12 million to build the garage, so the upgraded security costs are “relatively inexpensive.”
Warren County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Tim Robinson said details on how the cameras will be monitored by the WCSO are still being worked out.