Pittsburgh to See Increase in Surveillance Cameras, Gunshot Detection

The city’s 2018 budget allocates $2.25 million to replace cameras approaching end of life and to install almost 70 more over the next three years.

Pittsburgh — Citizens of the city will be able to feel a bit safer this year after it deploys more surveillance cameras and ShotSpotter gunshot detection devices.

According to WESA, the city’s 2018 budget includes funding for a 30% expansion of an existing camera network over the next three years, with plans to deploy ShotSpotter over an additional 14.5 square miles.

ShotSpotter is currently deployed over only three square miles in the East End. However, Mayor Bill Peduto views it as a key part of the city’s public safety strategy.

“We’ve had the opportunity these past few years to really kick the tires on it,” Peduto says. “It works within a larger surveillance program that allows us to have plate detection cameras, regular cameras, ShotSpotter.”

The city currently has 226 surveillance cameras, however 126 cameras of them and their supporting infrastructure are outdated and reaching end of life, the mayor’s office reported in the proposed budget for 2018. The document also says an additional 54 are expected to reach end of life in coming years.

The budget allocates $2.25 million to replace those cameras and to install almost 70 more over the next three years.

In October 2016, a local news station reported that 28% of the city’s surveillance cameras were not fully operational.

Public safety officials plan to add ShotSpotter to each of the city’s six police zones and are developing a request for proposals to select a company to supply the equipment, according to Dan Shak of the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety.

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