Security at SunRail stations comes into question after vehicle vandalism

Not all lots have parking lot cameras

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Don-Ellen Ray has been a SunRail commuter for a few months. It's an option she enjoys having, but after her car was vandalized Friday at the Sand Lake SunRail station, she began to question the security. 

Cameras are at the Sunrail stations, but only on the platforms, which the Florida Department of Transportation maintains.

Parking lot security is the responsibility of the jurisdiction under which the station falls.

In Osceola County, two stations are operated under the county. The city takes control of a parking lot located downtown.

City of Kissimmee communications and public affairs officer Melissa Zayas-Moreno said cameras were installed there in 2017.

"We do have cameras. We have made security a top priority here in the city of Kissimmee," Zayas-Moreno said. 

The cameras are already paid for and there are no reccurring costs for the hardware installed at that location, according to Zayas-Moreno.

In Orange County, four SunRail stops fall within city lines, but two are operated by Amtrak and Lynx.

Two stations do not have lots but public parking is offered nearby. The county manages two lots.

Due to cost factors, those lots do not have cameras, but after Friday's reported vandalism at the Sand Lake location, county officials are adding more security and addressing lighting issues. 

In Altamonte Springs, additional funding in 2013 allowed 19 cameras to be added. 

"It cost about $70,000 to put the cameras in. We could have put it into landscaping. We could have put it into signage, public art but we decided to put in cameras because in the long haul, that is going to matter the most," Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz said. 

For the parking lots that don't have cameras, law enforcement patrols those areas. 
 

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