HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- In Hartford, police say after hours “pool hopping” is a problem every summer.
On Tuesday, Ch. 3 got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the safety measures that are in place.
Lifeguards are on duty at the city’s four pools during the day, but after the pools close, an alarm system will go off anytime there is movement in the water.
“If there’s water, there’s danger and we’re there to watch what’s going on,” said Mike Bruce, operations manager for the city’s Dept. of Emergency Services.
The technology is very advanced, and the focus on pool safety is heightened after hours.
“We do get a lot of pool hoppers,” said Maggie Rivera, certified training officer for Hartford Police Dispatch.
Hartford police have security cameras and an alarm system in the water.
Rivera said their job is to dispatch officers immediately every time the alarm goes off.
“It’ll tell us whether it’s deep end, the shallow end, what zone in the pool,” Rivera said.
Bruce added that they have seen some “pool hoppers” so far this year.
At the Colt Park pool alone, 145 alarm calls have come in since June 1.
At Goodwin there have been 60, Keney Park has seen 101, and Pope Park has had 93.
In total since June 1, there have been 399 alarm activations at city pools after hours.
However, not all alarms are for "pool hoppers." There are some false alarms that come in, but protocol is to have officers check out the pools in person when that alarm goes off.
“We were having a lot of trouble at the Colt Park pool. They actually have hired security that is present overnight,” Bruce said.
Last summer, there was a teen drowning at Keney Park pool after hours.
Hartford Police Lt. Paul Cicero said it’s tragedies like that one that Hartford public safety is working to prevent.
“They get in over their heads, so to speak going from the shallow end over to the deep end, and there are no lifeguards there to watch them, and when you have a lot of kids going in and out of the pool unsupervised, sometimes they could leave somebody behind,” Cicero said.
They’re charged with keeping an eye on the pools to keep the community safe this summer.
“Some can’t swim, and some don’t know that, and you know making sure kids are safe and sound,” Rivera said.