Wilkes-Barre installs CCTVs

Published 5 November 2007

This is not yet U.K.-like CCTV coverage, but more and more American cities install CCTVs to monitor their streets

The United Kingdom is called the Surveillance Country because of the thousands of CCTVs monitoring city streets and highways. The United States is not quite there yet, but more and more American cities are insalling such CCTVs on their streets. The latest is Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, which last week installed ten wide-screen monitors in police headquarters which will display real-time footage of cars passing and people walking from cameras perched in the downtown and problem neighborhoods. The city’s much-touted wireless surveillance network is finally ready to launch, city officials say. City leaders say the system will improve public safety and combat crime. “A police officer is now going to have more than one set of eyes,” said Wilkes-Barre councilman Tony Thomas. “It’s a tool that is going to be a great asset.” When the plan is fully implemented, surveillance cameras will be placed throughout the downtown, in neighborhoods, and even on bridges to monitor water levels during floods. Patrol officers will eventually have laptop computers with wireless technology to allow their police cars to serve as mobile offices. “It’s a state-of-the-art system. We’ve been working on this for three years. It takes planning, money and dedication,” Thomas said.