On the same day that police said security camera footage helped them nab two teenagers charged with murdering a retired firefighter, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he wants to put 220 more electronic eyes on city streets, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The city, Community College of Allegheny County, and Carnegie Mellon University jointly requested $12 million to $14 million in federal stimulus money to buy the cameras, install a wireless network for operating them, and develop software for sorting the images.
The cameras would give the city around-the-clock monitoring, while software would allow authorities to sort untold numbers of images for information needed to solve crimes. For example, the software potentially could find images of a certain type or color of car, said Howard Stern, the city’s chief information officer. The use of security cameras and the information they gather was established in 2008 through public hearings and discussions with groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Besides the murder, the cameras have helped police crack two burglaries, including one at the building where the cameras are mounted. “Obviously, it got solved,” civic group President Diane Annis-Dixon said. Originally wary of being watched by “Big Brother,” Annis-Dixon said she now supports the idea of installing the cameras city-wide.