Statement of DEEP Regarding Claim of Kim Smith July 24, 2014
Connecticut's state parks system attracts more than eight million visitors a year to 107 locations that contain dozens of bath house and hundreds of restrooms.
Our staff works hard every day to protect the safety, well-being and privacy of visitors to our parks and all those who make use of facilities there. We take this issue very seriously.
The unfortunate incident of July 2011 at Hammonasset Beach State Park resulted in a timely and thorough investigation and the dismissal and arrest of two seasonal park employees. We also took steps to inspect all of our bathhouses and make repairs needed to prevent any further incidents of this type.
The only other known case in recent memory where the privacy of park visitors may have been compromised involved the placement of a camera disguised as a coat hook earlier this summer in a bath house, also at Hammonasset. That case is under active investigation by law enforcement authorities.
Once again, we responded immediately to a report of this camera, inspected the bath house and found and removed the camera. We also quickly took steps at Hammonasset to alert park visitors to the situation.
In the wake of that incident our park staff has been instructed to inspect bathrooms and bath houses regularly and thoroughly and to be on the lookout for items that may have been placed inside that could contain a camera.
We have also circulated to them information and photos of the types of small video cameras now readily available for purchase. Our park staff is also working to determine if there are any additional steps we can take to address the emerging and challenging issue of preventing electronic snooping at our parks. We certainly welcome all ideas and suggestions that could help accomplish that.