Poway Eyes Ramping up Skate Park's Security

'Rule of thumb' to govern tunrstile entry

By Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009  |  Updated 6:45 AM PDT
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Poway Eyes Ramping up Skate Park's Security

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The projected cost of the thumb pad-turnstile system, complete with upgraded a security cameras, is $50,000.

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Radical security measures may be in store for a North County skate park.

The Poway Skate Park may soon be accessible only by way of pressing a thumb pad on a turnstile controlled by an electronic scanner that matches a skateboard's print to one given in a new, free registration process.

Plans are for a security camera to record each entry.

And park users who break the house rules or indulge in roughhousing, bullying or vandalism will have their thumbprint voided.

"So the next time they put their thumb in (the thumb pad), it will not work," says Poway City Councilman Jim Cunningham. "Then they will contact someone and find out why."

To critics who may see all this as somewhat Orwellian, Cunningham has this comeback "We're not Big Brother. The thumbprints are not going to Homeland Security. They're being used specifically for this particular facility, and we want people to enjoy it."

City officials say there'll be a fair appeal process for violators who lose their permits.

To skateboarders' parents, the idea has merit.

"I'd be for it completely," says Kim Taylor, whose teenage son skateboards. "If you are not doing anything wrong, I can't see any problem with it."

The projected cost of the thumb pad-turnstile system, complete with upgraded a security cameras, is $50,000.

If approved by Poway's city council, officials believe it'll be the first use of this technology by a skate park.

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