Vandalism of Veterans Memorials Leads to Video Surveillance

Images are transmitted directly to the Sheriff's Department.
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In response to several incidents of vandalism to memorials honoring veterans located in a Paterson, N.J. park, the Passaic County Sheriff's Department has deployed a video camera that will transmit images to the Sheriff's Department.

The department installed the video surveillance camera at Hayden Heights Park following pleas from veterans’ organizations. The camera, which is powered by a portable generator, will monitor the park 24 hours per day in a 360 degree scan of the property.

"This is just what we've been asking for," said Tony Vancheri, the head of the Paterson Veterans Council. "What I say to vandals is that the eyes of Paterson are now on you."

Vandals have destroyed monuments at Hayden Heights three times since Sept. 9, 2010, police say. In the first attack, vandals stole a pair of bronze plaques that had the names of Paterson residents killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Those plaques were found days later in a garbage-strewn lot about a mile from the park.

Vandals struck again on Oct. 11 when they smashed a granite American Legion monument into four pieces. The latest act of destruction occurred on Nov. 21 when someone destroyed a granite memorial to World War II.

No arrests have been made in any of the incidents.