Among the improvements to the infrastructure of the New York State Fairgrounds this year, is an upgrade of the fair's surveillance system. New high-tech cameras are replacing an older system that will keep an eye on anyone visiting the 375 acre fairgrounds.
Phase one of the installation involves laying down the infrastructure for the new cameras and installing them in certain areas, according to Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner.
"We started on the most heavily trafficked areas which is the east end of the fairgrounds, which is Chevy Court and Center of Progress, the main buildings," Waffner said. "We did some high incident areas for us which is around the maintenance warehouse, shooting out to the black lot in [Route] 695 and that area."
He also says this new technology will be helpful in a number of ways.
"They'll have login accessibility remotely, so the state police, EMS and the fire department can all have access to them and see what's going on," Waffner said. "We'll be able to have great shots of the crowds at Chevy Court to make sure everything's fine."
Waffner says these cameras should be viewed as a tool that can help officials, and not any kind of invasion of privacy for fairgoers.
"It can be used for anything from EMS purposes. If someone goes down, you can identify exactly where they went down and radio to the fire department and to Rural Metro. It's used for after incident things, so we can learn from them. If a structure collapsed, we can go back and say maybe we should have done this differently. And I can only speak for the fairgrounds there's nothing to be worried about. We're not trying to invade people's privacy."
Phase one of the new system cost $450,000. Ultimately, the cameras will be installed throughout the fairgrounds.
Correction: Earlier editions of this story misspelled Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner's name. We regret the error.