Tracy cemetery to get security cameras
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Apr 10, 2013 | 2799 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A granite headstone was among about 26 headstones vandalized at the Tracy Cemetery between Tuesday, Jan. 15, and Wednesday, Jan. 16. The damage was still visible Wednesday, Jan. 16.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
A granite headstone was among about 26 headstones vandalized at the Tracy Cemetery between Tuesday, Jan. 15, and Wednesday, Jan. 16. The damage was still visible Wednesday, Jan. 16. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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New surveillance cameras are being installed at the Tracy Public Cemetery following the vandalism to gravesites in January.

The alleged vandalism occurred some time between Tuesday evening, Jan. 15, and Wednesday morning, Jan. 16.

Approximately 26 marble grave vases and headstones were toppled, according to Tracy police.

The damage was between $150 and $300 per gravesite, according to police.

In response to the damage, the five-member cemetery board of trustees on Wednesday, April 3, voted unanimously during its monthly meeting to install the cameras in the cemetery, located at 501 E. Schulte Road.

A security system will be helpful because the cemetery property has a low-rising fence as a border and the gate remains unlocked at night.

Gene Birk, a cemetery trustee, said the cameras will be installed at undisclosed parts of the cemetery.

“We’re not locking up (the cemetery), but we’re getting cameras and security,” he said.

Alma Celaya, cemetery district manager, said officials are considering four cameras on 24-hour recorders with the option to add more cameras in the future. She said installation will likely occur in two to three weeks.

As for locking the front gates, trustee Richard Paulson said it’s a “point of discussion” among board trustees.

“Tracy fortunately, as a community, we don’t have a high degree of problems,” Paulson said. “At this point, we hope and intend for the cemetery to stay open.”

Rui Sousa, who was visiting his father’s grave on Monday, April 8, said the cameras are good as long as the cemetery remains unlocked.

“Those with family members here, whole heartedly appreciate this cemetery not closing,” Sousa said. “I visit at late hours and I appreciate it staying open.”

Celaya said cemetery officials worked closely with families affected by the incident and nearly all of the sites have been repaired.

She said it appeared the alleged vandalism occurred at gravesites located near the cemetery office. It’s believed that a rock was also thrown through an office window.

“We replaced the lights around the (office) building and now with the cameras, it should help — at least deter somebody,” Celaya said. “They’ll know they are being watched.”

In addition to the surveillance cameras, trustee Richard Paulson said other changes are being planned.

Workers have surveyed the property to determine its exact boundaries for a new fence, and an electronic gate with a timer is also being considered, according to Paulson.

A $100 reward is being offered by the Tracy Crime Stoppers for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for the January vandalism. Anonymous tips can be made at 209-831-4847.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments
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jonpaul
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April 11, 2013
Security cameras are a waste of money. They will not prevent any vandalism. All these turds will do is walk in wearing their stupid "hoodies" and destroy anything they want. You cannot charge anybody if you cannot identify them. An actual security guard would be the answer to the problem. How long do you think it will take for the cameras to be vandalized? I think this is a poor decision by the five member board.
bobrod
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April 11, 2013
Jonpaul, Im with you. Cameras are a waste of time and money. There is no replacement for a human being. I don't know what it will take for the city to realize this, along with school security takes a person(s) to secure property and people. What will it take for them to realize that somewhere down the line, they need to spend the money for a proper security force to patrol places like the cemetary and schools. Cameras are like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.
doors17
|
April 10, 2013
Sad, isn't it?

It's understandable why the security cameras are needed, but it's still makes you sad why we do.

Respect not only belongs to the living, but to those who have died and to those who love them and miss them everyday.


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