Pittsburgh Chief: Surveillance Cameras Will Cut Crime


A security firm whose camera systems helped solve serial murders in Phoenix and guard the Democratic National Convention in Denver soon will begin installing electronic eyes along Pittsburgh’s riverfronts and in its neighborhoods, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. These won’t be typical store security cameras, but high-tech devices that look like white tool boxes laying glass eggs. They will send the footage wirelessly to computers that will analyze and store it. “You can zoom three blocks away and read a business card or a license plate,” said Darrin Lipscomb, president of Avrio Group, a Maryland firm that won a competition to be the city’s surveillance camera vendor.”With the technology that these cameras will have, it will greatly assist in stopping homicides on the street, as well as stopping other criminal acts on the street,” said Police Chief Nate Harper. “So when these cameras roll out, we will see a reduction in crime.”

This year, the city wants to put 32 cameras on bridges and 20 to 80 in neighborhood hotspots, link another 120 existing and privately owned cameras, install 48 devices for recognizing license plate numbers, and build a computer backbone for analyzing the footage. The final number of cameras depends on when the money runs out. The initial $4.1 million investment includes $2.59 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, intended to guard ports against terrorism, $862,000 in local money and $625,000 in state funds.

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