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Hot Cam Action in Wilkes-Barre
wbrail Downtown City Tech Crime
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The Wilkes-Barre anti-crime cameras need to be restored to full and even "excessive" functionality as quickly as possible. It sounds like they are on track to do so as per the link chronology below.

The cameras have been controversial because they cost something and in fact it was an anti-Leighton talking point during Tony George's campaign. I think this put Tony on the spot when he actually became mayor because he entered office having to contradict the common sense of law enforcement about their overall worth. He needed to hate the cameras to build out his cliche' platform against his predecessor, yet I would contend that there's simply no way he actually believed they were an "exependable luxury".

This anti-camera sentiment became just more fodder in the quibble between he and the Wilkes-Barre police union, the latter who (in my view correctly) saw a valuable resource being squandered for pure political motives.

An assessment of the camera system's value asserted in 2013
by then Police Chief Dessoye. Original YT source.

Tony changed his tune a bit, finally, going on record in one of the reports linked to below that the cameras were a great idea in concept, but not how they were currently implemented in Wilkes-Barre.

Whatevers. Next time don't go against common sense and even your own experience in a rabid portrayal of the former mayor as incompetent, hindering one of the few advantages against crime in Wilkes-Barre in the process.

Tony is now at least making good on the cameras by administrating a change in how the cameras are implemented and paid for, and to who. Ideally, the next implementation will supplement a two-layer strategy where the cameras assist beyond evidence gathering, sure, but also real-time strikes against criminals in action. I live in Buffalo which has an elaborate camera system lining Main Street and even neighborhoods (particularly in the university area). Listening to my police scanner I can hear how the police utilize the camera "instantly" to follow fleeing vehicles and to convey information about the area around reported crimes in the moment.

That's the kind of deployment Wilkes-Barre needs to achieve at least one day. Given the state of city finances I am being realistic about immediate scope of implementation, though, I would wonder how much money could be saved in roaming patrol if you could build out reliable video monitoring in place of that. I suspect this is a typical consideration among people who actually deal with building out such systems.

Link Chronology

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