Bathroom Camera Discovered by Concerned Parent

A concerned parent contacted FOX 4 to find out why cameras were installed in a public restroom at a Springtown park and splash pad.

Patrick McGrath thought teenagers were joking about security video cameras mounted inside the bathrooms at the Springtown Park, until he saw them for himself.

"To see who's going in is what they're trying to get after," he said, "so why put it in the bathroom?"

He and other parents immediately had concerns.

"I'm not gonna bring my kids out here to use the bathroom," McGrath said.

Since the cameras were approved and paid for by the city, we took our questions to Springtown Police Chief Tony Motley, who only started serving at the department in August.  But he had no idea the cameras were there until FOX 4's Brandon Todd told him. 

"Anytime that you have public structure like this in a park that may not always be under observation," Chief Motley said, "part of being safe and protecting public funds you want a higher level of security"

According to the Chief, the cameras were installed 3 years ago and are in a fixed position showing only a person walking in or out or the restroom.  He says it does not show the inside of the restroom.

They're hard-wired, rather than connected to Wi-Fi, and therefore difficult to hack.  Although the cameras are designed to move, Chief Motley says the pan tilt and zoom function on the cameras is disabled so they can't be moved.

The only people authorized to see the recorded video from the cameras are the Police Chief, his officers, and the city secretary because she's over the Parks Department.  All of whom go through background checks.

City leaders acknowledge the camera position may need to be revisited.