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Philadelphia Announces Contract to Install 250 Video Surveillance Cameras

"Deploying video cameras as part of our overall crime-fighting strategy is a great example of using modern technology to enhance public safety and improve services to our citizens."

Mayor John F. Street announced Monday that an agreement has been reached with Unisys Corporation to install 250 video surveillance cameras across the City of Philadelphia as part of the administration's ongoing effort to reduce and prevent crime.

"Deploying video cameras as part of our overall crime-fighting strategy is a great example of using modern technology to enhance public safety and improve services to our citizens," Street said at a press conference at City Hall.

Unisys will begin deploying the cameras within two to three weeks. The Philadelphia Police Department will decide where the cameras will be located, based upon crime statistics and other key criteria. Police will also supervise the monitoring of the cameras and work on how best to integrate the surveillance cameras into their existing crime-fighting strategies.

The city will pay approximately $8.9 million for the first contract year, which will cover the cameras, network, software and hardware provided by Unisys. Unisys will be responsible for maintaining the system, assuring that all equipment is functioning and providing the quality of video that the Police Department requires.

Philadelphia installed 18 video surveillance cameras a year ago. According to police statistics, reported crimes at eight video locations with highly visible, unmonitored cameras decreased by 8.4 percent, and there was specifically a 37 percent decrease in violent crimes, most notably assaults and robberies.

In addition to deploying video cameras, the Street Administration is undertaking a host of other initiatives to reduce and prevent violence through Operation Safer Streets, including:

  • Hiring and deploying 200 more police
  • Deploying elite, experienced officers in targeted areas to reduce violence
  • Opening and operating 11 Neighborhood Curfew Centers to get young people off the streets and back home. The Curfew Centers program has been cited nationally as a best practice by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
  • Spending $3 million to hire 400 Parent Truant Officers to reduce truancy.
  • Training more than 1,000 neighborhood and faith-based leaders in conflict resolution techniques to help people constructively resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Funding and supporting proven youth violence prevention programs, including the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP) and the Adolescent Violence Reduction Partnership (AVRP).
  • Opening three one-stop shops to provide counseling to ex-offenders and helping them re-enter communities.
  • Working with other Pennsylvania mayors to persuade the PA General Assembly to enact stronger handgun laws for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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