NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been nearly a month since an 18-year-old girl was raped while she was babysitting in an Antioch park.
On Thursday, News 2 went to Hamilton Creek Park with the mother of the twins the girl was babysitting.
It was the first time Shannon Radel had been back to the trail where her babysitter was attacked while her twins were there with her.
“I just picture her running out,” said Radel. “And my boys. And there was no one to help her. And the camera’s right there.”
Radel is talking about the park’s surveillance camera. She believes because the camera is pointed toward the parking lot, it could have captured the assailant’s car– even his license plate.
But the camera wasn’t recording. News 2 found out there are 17 non-functioning cameras across Metro’s public parks.
With a total of 61 cameras, that’s more than one quarter of Metro Park cameras that don’t work.
According to parks police, the cameras haven’t worked for at least four years. The department says they haven’t replaced the cameras because the software is outdated and they don’t have the money to update it.
However, the parks department spent $34 million last year. They need $155,000 to replace the camera and software.
“It’s so alarming to me because that is the price tag they’re putting on our safety,” said Radel. “There was a young woman who was raped here. Let’s make sure to tell her what that cost was. What was the worth of that?”
What’s more, park police say the non-functioning cameras deter crime. If potential criminals see a camera, Captain Chris Taylor told News 2, they’ll be less likely to commit a crime.
Radel points out the camera didn’t stop her babysitter’s rapist and there was no video to aid in the investigation.
Metro Parks didn’t grant News 2 a sit down interview but said in a statement:
“Metro Parks makes every reasonable effort to protect secluded areas and open spaces in the nearly 16,000 acres that is under our stewardship. We will continue to be proactive and allocate resources to event areas and other public spaces to help secure our patrons and our parks. We take safety seriously.”
Radel doesn’t buy it.
“I don’t believe that because actions speak louder than words,” she said. “Show me that you take safety seriously.”
The parks department says it has requested money to replace the cameras for fiscal year 2017. Their request is currently pending.